Cruickshank, A. J., Peyrebrune, M. C., & Caine, M. P. (2007). Inspiratory muscle warm-up improves performance in elite swimmers. ACSM Annual Meeting New Orleans, Presentation Number, 1435.

"Swimmers experience a mean reduction in inspiratory muscle strength after high intensity swimming assumed to be due to reversible muscle fatigue. Therefore, if a swimmers’ inspiratory muscles can be strengthened by an appropriate priming or warm-up effect, then this may reduce the amount of fatigue and hence loss of force generating capacity in the inspiratory muscles".

This study investigated the effects of a specific inspiratory muscle warm-up on maximum inspiratory pressure and its concurrent impact on exertional dyspnea and 200-m swimming performance. Elite swimmers (M = 5; F = 3) performed a 200-m time-trial after 1) a normal race warm-up (control), and 2) a specific inspiratory warm-up followed by a normal race warm-up.

The inspiratory plus normal warm-up increased mean maximum inspiratory pressure on two separate occasions. Performance time after inspiratory plus normal warm-up was significantly faster than after the control warm-up. There was no difference in blood lactate or perceived exertion between trials, but perceived dyspnea was lower on the Borg scale after the inspiratory plus normal warm-up compared with the control warm trial.

Implication. Inspiratory muscle strength can be enhanced with a specific inspiratory muscle warm-up. A specific inspiratory muscle warm-up plus a normal warm-up is more effective than a normal race warm-up alone for maximizing 200-m swimming time-trial performance.

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