DUBIOUS SUPPORT FOR BODY STRENGTH IN MALE SWIMMERS
Uno, Y., Kasuga, K., & Fukutomi, K. (2013). The relationship between competitive ability and isokinetic trunk strength among university student swimmers. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 532.
This study examined the relationship between competitive ability and isokinetic trunk extension and flexion strength among male university student swimmers (N = 16). Ss were without low-back symptoms. Ss’ competitive ability was evaluated on the basis of the licentiate grades conferred by the Japan Swimming Federation. Ss in the sixth qualification class or higher were stratified into a high-ranking group (N = 9) and those in the fifth class or lower formed a low-ranking group (N = 7). Tests were performed using an isokinetic dynamometer (not a swimming specific device). Ss performed semisupination from a 0° extended position to a 40° flexed position at angular velocities of 30 and 90 deg/sec. Ten repetitions of flexion and extension were performed reciprocally at 30 deg/sec, and 50 repetitions of flexion and extension were performed reciprocally at 90 deg/sec, with a 2-minute rest between each measurement. Three parameters were analyzed: (1) the ratio of peak torque to body weight at 30 deg/sec, (2) the degree of fatigue at 90 deg/sec, and (3) the ratio of extension to flexion confrontation at 30 deg/sec.
A significant intergroup difference in the ratio of peak torque to body weight at 30 deg/sec was revealed. [Editor's note: this finding suggests bigger swimmers are stronger than smaller swimmers.]
Implication. [Editor's note: The strongly worded conclusions of the authors about the importance of dynamic body trunk extension strength for swimming should be read with caution.] Only one of two tests separated the two moderate levels of swimmers. That is hardly a ringing endorsement for body strength being a vital factor in male swimming success.
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