CONTRIBUTION OF LEG STRENGTH AND KICKING IN SWIMMING
Delisle, A. T., Brechue, W. F., Garzarella, L., Kearns, C. F., & Pollock, M. L. (1995). Leg strength, anaerobic power, and swim kick performance in adolescent swimmers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(5), Supplement abstract 663.
The relationships between leg strength, anaerobic power, and swim kicking performance in crawl, butterfly, and breast strokes were examined in 22 trained age-group swimmers. Leg strength (maximum isometric flexion/extension) at various angles was measured on a MedX machine. Anaerobic power was estimated from the vertical jump and the Margaria Step Test.
It was found that overall leg strength contributes to leg anaerobic power, but, that only in butterfly kicking is there a relationship to leg strength and anaerobic power.
Implication. In the sport of swimming, the need for an emphasis on leg strength training is not as great as is commonly asserted. Only in butterfly kicking is strength related to performance. It is reasonable to assume that the lack of a relationship for crawl stroke also applies to back stroke because of the similarity of actions although movement magnitudes differ.
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