PROPELLING EFFICIENCY IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR SWIMMING
D'Acquisto, L. J., & Berry, J. E. (2003). Relationship between estimated propelling efficiency, peak aerobic power, and swimming performance in trained male swimmers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 34(5), Supplement abstract 193.
This study examined the relationships between propelling efficiency, peak aerobic power, and freestyle swimming performance in trained male collegiate swimmers (N = 14). Performance was the time for a 400-yd swim.
Peak aerobic power was not an important predictor of performance of an event that traditionally is described as requiring a high aerobic energy contribution. The ability to effectively apply propulsive power (propelling efficiency) is a major determinant of swimming success. The amount of energy wasted was estimated to be ~57%, mostly through moving water rather than the swimmer through the water.
Implication. The most important feature of swimming performance is the application of forces that directly produce propulsion, that is, a swimmer's propelling efficiency.
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