MUSCULAR STRENGTH NOT RELATED TO SPRINT-SWIMMING PERFORMANCE
Crowe, S. E., Babington, J. P., Tanner, D. A., & Stager, J. M. (1999). The relationship of strength and dryland power, swimming power, and swim performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), Supplement abstract 1230.
Relationships between muscular strength and dryland power, muscular strength and swimming power, and muscular strength and competitive swimming performance were investigated in collegiate swimmers (M = 37; F = 28). Strength measures included 1 RM of the bench press, latissimus pull down, and triceps press. Dryland power was assessed using a seated chest putt and a two-arm supine overhead throw for distance using a 6-lb medicine ball. Swimming power was assessed by performing a 30-s, maximal effort, tethered, crawl stroke swim. Competitive times for 50 and 100-m crawl strokes were used as measures of swimming performance.
For the whole group, all relationships were significant. For women, the three strength measures were related to dryland and swimming power. Only the 1 RM latissimus pull down was related to performance. For the men, muscular strength was related to dryland and swimming power but not to performance.
Contrary to the authors' interpretation of these results as being indications of an important role of strength in maximal swim velocity, when only one strength exercise in the females was related to performance and none were in the men, a contrary interpretation is warranted. These results support the contention that muscular strength is not related to sprint-swimming performance (velocity) in male or female swimmers.
Implication. Muscular strength is not related to sprint-swimming performance.
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