CHANGES IN ARM LOADING IN ON-LAND SIMLATION DO NOT EFFECT METABOLIC DEMAND OR COORDINATION IN SWIMMERS

Hinman, M. G., Head, S. K., & Stager, J. M. (2013). Uneven arm load and rhythmic arm coordination. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 1293.

blue line

This study investigated the metabolic cost of arm coordination occurring with a change in load distribution between two arms in male competitive swimmers (N = 11). Ss performed a discontinuous test of peak oxygen consumption and an arm coordination test on a modified pulley weight stack. The arm coordination test consisted of three randomized workloads corresponding work-load 50%, work-load 65%, and work-load 80% of the Sís peak oxygen consumption workload. Within each trial there were three randomized arm-loading profiles: i) even arm load distribution, ii) right-arm loading, and iii) left-arm loading. Ss were instructed to mimic a front-crawl pull throughout the 5-minute exercise bouts. Arm coordination was determined using the index of coordination. Oxygen consumption, frequency, travel distance, and heart rate were measured in minute and 30-second intervals, respectively.

The mean oxygen consumption of the Ss significantly increased from work-load 50% to work-load 65% and work-load 80%. However, there were no significant differences in oxygen consumption within each trial. Mean index of coordination for both the left and right arms were not significantly different within each trial or between trials.

Implication. This study suggests that the uneven load profiles on the arms did not have an effect on either the metabolic demand of the movement or on the coordination of the arms while on the modified pulley weight stack. Future research is needed to compare coordination patterns while swimming in water and mimicking similar patterns out of the water.

Return to Table of Contents for Biomechanics of Swimming.

blue line