Influence Of Morphology And Strength On Front Crawl Swimming Speed In Junior And Youth Age Group Swimmers

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Abstract

Objectives:

this study, conducted in two male age groups, was aimed at analysing the influence of body properties, dry-land strength and swimming strength on 50 m crawl (VCrawl).

Methods:

We examined two competitive groups, Youth (20.6 ± 1.05), and Junior, (17.3 ± 0.59), through: a. (lean) body mass (BM and LBM), (total) body height (BH and TBL) and arm span (AS); b. counter movement jump (CMJ) and maximum isometric strength of elbow and knee joints; c. tethered crawl strength. We hypothesized that a higher relationship of strength indices in younger swimmers in VCrawl and tethered swimming would be a better sprint performance predictor.

Results:

the Junior group revealed a significant relationship between somatic traits (BM r = 0.63; BH r = 0.55; TBL r = 0.58; AS r = 0.52 with p < 0.05 LBM r = 0.78; with p < 0.01) and VCrawl, whereas such interplay was not found in the Youth group. General dry-land strength indices CMJ [cm], CMJ [J] or isometric strength of knee joint muscle flexors and extensors (r = 0.57; r = 0.69; r = 0.56; r = 0.57, respectively) also significantly correlated with VCrawl only in the Junior group. The Junior group’s tethered swimming strength had a higher but not significant relationship with VCrawl. The Youth group instead achieved significantly higher VCrawl and stroke rate (SR). The SR revealed (r = 0.41, p= 0.014) a relationship with VCrawl only after combination of both groups.

Conclusions:

this study demonstrates a better strength relationship with VCrawl in the younger Junior group. In the future, evaluation of sprint swimming aptitudes, besides on the basis of somatic traits and properties of dry-land or water strength measurement, should be complemented by measurements of real sprint swimming technique parameters.

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