Ischemic Preconditioning on Maximal Swimming Performance

Can concurrent teaching promote equal biomechanical adaptations at front crawl and backstroke swimming?

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PURPOSE:

The biomechanical adaptations in front crawl and backstroke swimming, as influenced by the implementation of a concurrent teaching programme were analysed.

METHODS:

Sixteen participants (19.75 ± 1.13 years) underwent a 30 weeks intervention characterized by an increasing complexity to accomplish motor skills in the following order: (i) lower limbs propulsion; (ii) lower limbs propulsion synchronized with breathing cycle; (iii) lower limbs propulsion synchronized with one upper limb action; (iv) lower limbs propulsion synchronized with both breathing cycle and one upper limb action; (v) full swimming stroke; (vi) motor trajectory of the arms stroke. Performance and biomechanics were measured at front crawl and backstroke during three time points throughout the programme.

RESULTS:

There were improvements in performance over time at front crawl (21.49 s to 19.99 s, p<0.01) and backstroke (27.15 s to 24.60 s, p = 0.01). Significant improvements were found for velocity at front crawl (1.13 m/s to 1.22 m/s, p<0.01) and backstroke (0.92 m/s to 1.00 m/s, p<0.01). Stroke frequency increased at backstroke (0.64 to 0.73 Hz, p = 0.01), while the intra-cyclic variation of the velocity decreased at front crawl (0.13 to 0.12%, p = 0.02). There was also a moderate-high inter-subject variability in response to the programme.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings prove that a programme of 30 weeks teaching concurrently front crawl and backstroke is effective to promote similar biomechanical adaptations in low-tier swimmers. However, each subject shows an individual response to better adapt the biomechanical actions and to reach a higher level of expertise.

PRACTICAL IMPLICATION: 

Developing a learn to swim or beginner program with concurrent feedback and teaching is an effective strategy for enhancing skill acquisition.

Reference:

  1. Costa MJ, Barbosa TM, Morais JE, Miranda S, Marinho DA. Can concurrent teaching promote equal biomechanical adaptations at front crawl and backstroke swimming? Acta Bioeng Biomech. 2017;19(1):81-88.

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