The Relationship between Front Crawl Swimming Performance and Strength Variables in College Swimmers
Lopes TJD, Gonçalves CA, Graça C, Neiva HP and Marinho DA*
Journal Title:Ergonomics International Journal
Swimmers are tested in both dry land and specific swim protocol. The purpose of the present study was to verify the relationships between dry-land exercises and sprint swimming performance. Fifteen male college swimmers (age: 20 ± 1.46; body mass: 67.81 ± 8.04 kg; height: 177.60 ± 6.99 cm) of high-level volunteered to participate. Strength variables (bench press, full-squat, countermovement jump and the medicine ball throwing), swimming performance (50m and 100m front crawl), biomechanical variables (stroke length, stroke frequency, stroke index) were assessed in different days in the beginning of the season. The correlations between swimming test and strength test were quantified using Pearson's bivariate correlation coefficient (r), assuming a significance level of p<0.05. Bench press a maximum repetition (1RM) showed correlation with 50m front crawl performance (p<0.05). The strength variables were strongly correlated with the biomechanical variables, specifically the stroke length and the stroke index in the 50m (r = 0.56 to 0.83) and in 100m front crawl (r = 0.561 to 0.718). It is suggested that strength variables are relevant to swimming performance and also influence swimming technique. Thus, strength training should be included to improve swimming performance. Coaches are encouraged to implement strategies enable to increase overall power and strength in sprinter swimmers, considering the abovementioned dry-land exercises.