Oliveira, R., Marinho, D. A., Garrido, N. D., & Costa, A. M. (2011). The relationship between front crawl swimming performance and swimming technique in young swimmers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(5), Supplement abstract 2321.

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This study analyzed the relationship between front crawl performance and hydrodynamic variables during leg-kicking in pre-pubescent swimmers (M = 20; F = 16; ~10 years) from the same swimming club. Active drag during leg-kicking was conducted in a 25 m swimming pool with push-off starts. The velocity perturbation method was used to determine active drag when kicking. Ss' performances in 200 m short-course front-crawl kicking were also recorded. Performance in a 200 m short-course front-crawl event was related to active drag data (drag force, drag coefficient, and power output values) and performance in 200 m of leg-kicking.

The 200 m swimming performance was significantly correlated with the performance in 200 m leg-kicking (r = 0.87), hydrodynamic drag force during leg-kicking (r = -0.50), and with power output during leg-kicking (r = -0.58). Drag coefficient values for leg-kicking were not related to performance in 200 m of front crawl swimming.

Implication. In pre-pubescent swimmers, performance in 200 m front crawl is related to leg-kicking properties. Young swimmers who present higher values of hydrodynamic drag force and power output during leg-kicking are likely to exhibit better performances when swimming 200 m front crawl.

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