ENERGY COST OF KICKING FOR STREAMLINE BECOMES LESS AS SWIMMING VELOCITY INCREASES

Zamparo, P., Capelli, C, Di Nino, A., & Cautero, M. (2000). Energy cost of front crawl at supra maximal speeds and underwater torque in young swimmers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32(5), Supplement abstract 1694.

Adolescent swimmers (M = 3; F = 6) were evaluated for energy expenditure over 50, 100, 200, and 400 m distances. Energy was estimated as the sum of alactic, lactic, and aerobic energy processes. Torque was estimated from the tendency of the feet to sink.

It was found that energy cost was a continuous function of speed in both genders. A significant relationship between torque and energy cost existed at slow speeds (1.2 m/s), but not at faster speeds (>1.4 m/s).

Implication. At slow swimming speeds, the tendency of the feet to sink has a direct relationship to the energy cost of swimming. At fast speeds, torque is not related to energy costs. Thus, the faster one swims, the less important is kicking to maintain streamline (to cancel torque) in terms of energy cost of the exercise.

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