Carl, D. L., Leslie, N., Dickerson, T., Griffin, B., & Marksteiner, A. (2010). Correlation between dry-land strength measurements and in water force generation. A paper presented at the XIth International Symposium for Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming, Oslo, June 1619, 2010.

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This study determined if two standard measurements of dry-land strength would correlate with the ability to generate force in water as measured by a timed 22.9m (25 yd) swim or tethered swimming in adolescents (M = 10; ~16.6 years; F = 15; ~16.3 years). Ss completed a barbell chest-press with light weight for 10 repetitions. Following a two-minute rest, the weight was increased 10 % and another set of 10 repetitions completed. Ss continued until they were unable to complete 10 repetitions. 1RM was estimated using the following equation: Body weight/(1.0278-(.0278 x #reps)). Ss completed a bilateral seated leg-press following the same protocol as the bench-press. Ss completed two, 25-yard maximal swims from the starting block. Each swim was separated by two minutes. Times were recorded to the 100th of a second and averaged for best time. Ss completed two in-water tethered maximal swims (Digital Force Gauge, IMADA, Inc). Each trial was separated by one minute. Force was recorded in Ns and the trials averaged for best effort. [It should be noted that the criterion variable, 25-yard performance time, was actually a dive, unspecified underwater activity, and swimming. Because of that confounding, any allusion that results indicate effects solely on free-swimming should be vacated.]

A significant correlation existed between bench-press strength and both the 25-yard swim and tethered swimming for both sessions (R = -0.85 & -0.87; R = 0.82 & 0.80). A minor correlation existed between leg-press and 25-yard swim time (R = -0.70 & -0.77). No significant correlation existed between leg-press and tethered swimming forces.

Implication. Bench-press strength was moderately correlated with both in-water force measurements. In addition, leg-press strength was significantly correlated with 25-yard swim time. For all measurements taken, males demonstrated a higher level of correlation. [Since a 25-yard swim is not a competitive event, it would wrong to conclude that the moderate strength relationships demonstrated here still exist for longer distances. Previous research reported on this web site shows as the length of swimming tasks increases, correlations with land-strength measures decrease quickly and notably.]

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