Intracyclic velocity variation and arm coordination for different skilled swimmers in the front crawl

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Yuji Matsuda, Yosuke Yamada, Yasushi Ikuta, Teruo Nomura, Shingo Oda

The aim of this study was to examine whether the intracyclic velocity variation (IVV) was lower in elite swimmers than in beginner swimmers at various velocities, and whether differences may be related to arm coordination. Seven elite and nine beginner male swimmers swam front crawl at four different swimming velocities (maximal velocity, 75%, 85%, and 95% of maximal swimming velocity). The index of arm coordination (IDC) was calculated as the lag time between the propulsive phases of each arm. IVV was determined from the coefficient of variation of horizontal velocity within one stroke cycle. IVV for elite swimmers was significantly lower (26%) than that for beginner swimmers at all swimming velocities (p<0.01, 7.28 1.25% vs. 9.80 1.70%, respectively). In contrast, the IDC was similar between elite and beginner swimmers. These data suggest that IVV is a strong predictor of the skill level for front crawl, and that elite swimmers have techniques to decrease IVV. However, the IDC does not contribute to IVV differences between elite and beginner swimmers.
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2014-0111
Key words
intracyclic velocity variation, arm coordination, swimming, performance

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