Kimura, Y., Yeater, R. A., & Martin, R. B. (1990). Simulated swimming: a useful tool for evaluating the VO2max in the laboratory. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 24, 201-206.

A simulated swimming exercise was designed to allow the assessment of peak VO2 of swimmers in a laboratory setting. A prone position was assumed on an incline bench, arm cranking was performed on a Monark Rehab Trainer, and flutter kicking was performed against tension supplied by elastic cords. Tests were also performed for VO2max on a running treadmill, tethered swimming, a bicycle ergometer, and arm cranking. Male varsity swimmers (N = 11) served as subjects.

The simulated swimming achieved VO2max values that were 78% of that for running, 91% of tethered swimming, 81% of cycling, and 124% of arm cranking. The test-retest reliability of the simulation was r = .95.

Implication. This test can be used as a substitute for swimming flume or actual swimming evaluations of VO2max in swimmers. However, it is not as accurate or specific as actual performance and its results, therefore, would contain distortional error of over 25%. It would perhaps best serve as an initial screening or talent identification test but would be relatively useless with advanced performers. It should be used in conjunction with other tests.

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