ADIDAS, ARENA, AND NIKE BODYSUITS PROVIDE A FLOATATION ADVANTAGE TO SWIMMERS
Henrich, R. (2003). Body suits and performance. A paper presented at the American Swimming Coaches Association 35th Annual World Clinic in San Diego, California.
Swimmers (M = 14; F = 16) wore body suits from five manufacturers and were tested for buoyant force over several minutes. Each swimmer was attached to a water reaction board and held up by straps which were cinched tightly across the shoulders. Each swimmer was then required to enter the water, hold a streamline position, exhale completely, and hold steady while a force transducer measured how much force was exerted to hold the person up.
Center of mass and gender reactions did not vary between the suits. There was excess buoyant force at one minute for most of the suits that force decreasing over time as the suits became "wet". It was concluded that three suits were statistically significant in adding to the buoyant force (Adidas, Arena, and Nike).
Implication. Adidas, Arena, and Nike bodysuits provide a performance benefit to swimmers because of added floatation [in much the same manner as does a Neoprene wetsuit]. According to the rules of FINA, such "devices" should not be allowed.
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