[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of an analogy in learning breaststroke swimming. Two groups of
participants had 20 lessons on how to increase their stroke length. The participants in the experimental condition received an analogy with an internal focus of attention. Inter-limb coordination showed qualitative changes in this group, namely a greater increase in swimming efficiency (i.e., a coordination closer to anti-phase [-50° before learning and -125° after] and a 10% decrease in the time spent in-phase). The findings showed that an internal focus of attention induced by analogy could be beneficial in improving the quality of inter-limb swimming coordination.
Journal of Applied Sport Psychology 06/2014; 26:17-34. · 1.16 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study compared inter-limb coordination and indicators of swim efficiency and effectiveness between expert and recreational breaststroke swimmers. Arm-leg coordination of 8 expert and 10 recreational swimmers at two different paces, slow and sprint, were compared using relative phase between elbow and knee. For each participant, knee and elbow angles were assessed using a 3-D video analysis system with four below and two above cameras. During each phase of the cycle, indicators of swim efficiency (intra-cyclic velocity variations) and effectiveness (horizontal distance, velocity peaks, acceleration peaks) were calculated. Two coordination patterns emerged between expert and recreational swimmers, with significant differences in the relative phase at the beginning of a cycle (-172.4° for experts and -106.6° for recreational swimmers) and the maximum value of relative phase (9.1° for experts and 45.9° for recreational swimmers) (all P<.05). Experts' coordination was associated with higher swim effectiveness (higher acceleration peak: 2.4m.s-2 for experts and 1.6m.s-2 for recreational swimmers) and higher distance covered by the center of mass during each phase of the cycle (all P<.05). This study emphasized how experts coordinate arms and legs to achieve effective behaviour, therefore exhibiting flexibility, mainly in the timing of the glide phase, to adapt to different speed.
Journal of applied biomechanics 07/2013; · 1.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to analyze the changes in stroke parameters, motor organization and swimming efficiency with increasing energy cost in aquatic locomotion. Seven elite sprint swimmers performed a 6×300-m incremental swimming test. Stroke parameters (speed, stroke rate and stroke length), motor organization (arm stroke phases and arm coordination index), swimming efficiency (swimming speed squared and hand speed squared) and stroke index were calculated from aerial and underwater side-view cameras. The energy cost of locomotion was assessed by measuring oxygen consumption and blood lactate. Results showed that the increase in energy cost of locomotion was correlated to an increase in the index of coordination and stroke rate, and a decrease in stroke length (p<.05). Furthermore, indicators of swimming efficiency and stroke index did not change significantly with the speed increments (p<.05), indicating that swimmers did not decrease their efficiency despite the increase in energy cost. In parallel, an increase in the index of coordination IdC and stroke rate were observed, along with a decrease in stroke length, stroke index and hand speed squared with each increment, revealing an adaptation to the fatigue within the 300m.
Human movement science 11/2011; 31(3):620-9. · 2.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine coordination profiles for the field hockey drive. Nine elite female players performed five drives each. They were asked to primarily maximize ball placement accuracy, and secondly to drive with high velocity. An optical motion capture system recorded the displacement of six markers on the joints of the players' arms as they performed the drives, and a radar gun measured the ball velocity after impact. Spatial, temporal, and velocity variables were then established. Discrete relative phases were also established at ball impact to examine medio-lateral and proximo-distal upper-arms coordination. The high standard deviation values in joint kinematics were indicative of inter-individual variability, i.e. several drive solutions. Cluster analysis was thus used and two profiles among the players were identified. For the two profiles, the global coordination pattern of movement (upper-arm coordination) was in-phase for the right arm, and out-of-phase for the left lead arm, suggesting a segmental sequencing. However, differences were noted on local kinematic parameters which led to the following categorization: the 'strong group' for defenders and the 'temporal-effectiveness group' for midfielders and forwards. The results support the value of individual analysis to better interpret and contrast the distinct roles of expert players.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effect of (a) increasing velocity and (b) added resistance was examined on the stroke (stroke length, stroke rate [SR]), coordination (index of coordination [IdC], propulsive phases), and force (impulse and peaks) parameters of 7 national-level front crawl swimmers (17.14 ± 2.73 years of swimming; 57.67 ± 1.62 seconds in the 100-m freestyle). The additional resistance was provided by a specially designed parachute. Parachute swimming (PA) and free-swimming (F) conditions were compared at 5 velocities per condition. Video footage was used to calculate the stroke and coordination parameters, and sensors allowed the determination of force parameters. The results showed that (a) an increase in velocity (V) led to increases in SR, IdC, propulsive phase duration, and peak propulsive force (p < 0.05), but no significant change in force impulse per cycle, whatever the condition (PA or F); and (b) in PA conditions, significant increases in the IdC, propulsive phase duration, and force impulse and a decrease in SR were recorded at high velocities (p < 0.05). These results indicated that, in the F condition, swimmers adapted to the change in velocity by modifying stroke and coordination rather than force parameters, whereas the PA condition enhanced the continuity of propulsive action and force development. Added resistance, that is, "parachute training," can be used for specific strength training purposes as long as swimming is performed near maximum velocity.
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 09/2011; 25(10):2681-90. · 1.80 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we compared the reliability of short-term resting heart rate (HR) variability (HRV) and postexercise parasympathetic reactivation (i.e., HR recovery (HRR) and HRV) indices following either submaximal or supramaximal exercise. On 4 different occasions, beat-to-beat HR was recorded in 15 healthy males (21.5 ± 1.4 yr) during 5 min of seated rest, followed by submaximal (Sub) and supramaximal (Supra) exercise bouts; both exercise bouts were followed by 5 min of seated recovery. Reliability of all HR-derived indices was assessed by the typical error of measurement expressed as a coefficient of variation (CV,%). CV for HRV indices ranged from 4 to 17%, 7 to 27% and 41 to 82% for time domain, spectral and ratio indices, respectively. The CV for HRR ranged from 15 to 32%. Spectral CVs for HRV were lower at rest compared with Supra (e.g., natural logarithm of the high frequency range (LnHF); 12.6 vs. 26.2%; P=0.02). HRR reliability was not different between Sub and Supra (25 vs. 14%; P=0.10). The present study found discrepancy in the CVs of vagal-related heart rate indices; a finding that should be appreciated when assessing changes in these variables. Further, Supra exercise was shown to worsen the reliability of HRV-spectral indices.
International Journal of Sports Medicine 05/2011; 32(8):598-605. · 2.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine whether the Index of Coordination (IdC) and the propulsive phase durations can differentiate performance level during a maximal 400-m front crawl swim trial. Sixteen male swimmers constituted two groups based on performance level (G1: experts; G2: recreational). All participants swam the 400-m front crawl at maximal speed. Video analysis determined the stroke (swimming speed, stroke length, stroke rate) and coordination (IdC) parameters for every 50 m. Both stroke and coordination parameters discriminated performance level. The expert group had significantly higher values for speed and stroke length and lower values for the relative propulsive phase duration and IdC (p < .05). However there was no significant change in coordination parameters for either group throughout the trial. This suggests that, when associated with greater stroke length, catch-up coordination can be an efficient coordination mode that reflects optimal drag/propulsion adaptation. This finding provides new insight into swimmers' adaptations in a middle-distance event.
Research quarterly for exercise and sport 03/2011; 82(1):1-8. · 1.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to examine inter-individual variability in upper-lower limb breaststroke coordination. First, inter-individual variability was compared between recreational and comparative swimmers. Second, as recreational swimmers revealed more variable inter-limb coordination than competitive swimmers, inter-individual variability was assessed among recreational swimmers to identify coordination profiles. The elbow-knee continuous relative phase (CRP) was used to analyze upper-lower limbs coupling during a breaststroke cycle. Twenty-four recreational and twenty-four competitive swimmers swam 25 m at 80% of their maximal speed. Underwater and aerial side views were mixed and genlocked. Angular position, velocity and CRP were calculated for the knee and elbow joints by digitizing body markers from the side view. The kinematics of three cycles were filtered, averaged and normalized in terms of percentage of total cycle duration. The topography of the mean CRP curve of the recreational swimmers resembled a 'W-shape', whereas an 'inverse U-shape' was seen in the competitive swimmers. However, higher inter-individual variability was observed among the recreational swimmers than among the competitive swimmers (38.1° vs. 19.4°; p<.05), suggesting that several profiles of inter-limb coordination may exist in recreational swimmers. Coordination profiling showed that three clusters could classify the recreational swimmers.
Human movement science 03/2011; 30(3):550-65. · 2.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study analysed motor control during front crawl swimming starts by elite and trained swimmers, based on comparisons of: 1) kinematic and kinetic parameters of the start and 2) variability of these parameters across 3 trials per swimmer. Given that the start time to the 15-m mark is greatly influenced by the swimming phase, the study also compared the stroking and coordinative parameters from water entry to 25-m in the 2 skill groups. The swimmers performed 3 x 25-m at the 50-m race-pace and used their preferential start technique (grab start). The elite swimmers showed better start organization as reflected by higher impulse values in the direction of intended displacement despite similar block phase durations. They then spent more time in the water entry, gliding and leg kicking phases, with shorter swimming phase duration and 15-m start time than the trained swimmers (p<0.05). The trained swimmers showed significantly lower values for stroke length and velocity (p<0.05) during the swimming phase. Analysis revealed low intra-subject variability (across the 3 trials) but high inter-subject variability, indicating that both elite and trained swimmers had mastered distinct, though different, motor patterns.
International Journal of Sports Medicine 12/2010; 31(12):887-93. · 2.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The hip intracyclic velocity variability and the index of coordination in front crawl swimming were examined in relation to performance level. 22 swimmers were assigned to either an elite or a recreational swimming group and performed 4 swim trials at different paces relative to their individual maximum velocity. A velocity meter system was set to determine intracyclic velocity variability and video analysis allowed the determination of the index of coordination. Mean intracyclic velocity variability was lower in the elite swimmers than the recreational swimmers (14.39 ± 1.97 vs. 17.80 ± 4.23%, p<0.05), and remained stable with swim pace (i. e., the relative velocity) for the elite group, whereas it increased for the recreational group (p<0.05). The elite swimmers were characterized by a lower mean index of coordination than the recreational swimmers (-9.6 ± 7.1 vs. -6.9 ± 5.0%, p<0.05), but it increased with swim velocity in the elite group and showed only a tendency in the recreational group (p=0.07). These findings suggest that low intracyclic velocity variability and its stability over a range of swimming paces, which result from optimized inter-arm coordination, are characteristic of skilled performance. Thus, the examination of intracyclic velocity variability and index of coordination variability with different swim paces could provide new insight into skilled performance in swimming.
International Journal of Sports Medicine 11/2010; 31(12):875-81. · 2.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to analyse the effect of swimmer specialty on energy cost and motor organization. The stroking parameters (velocity, stroke rate, stroke length, stroke index) and the index of coordination (IdC) of 6 elite sprinters were compared with those of 6 elite long-distance swimmers during an incremental swimming exercise test (6x300 m separated by 30 s of passive recovery) that progressively increased the energy cost. Energy cost ( C), with its aerobic ( Caero) and anaerobic ( Canaero) components, was determined by measuring oxygen uptake (VO2) and blood lactate ([La]). Motor organization was assessed by analysis of video recordings from aerial and underwater side-view cameras. The results showed that throughout the test, both groups increased C, Canaero, stroke rate and IdC and decreased Caero and stroke length (all P<0.05). On the mean of the 300-m sets, sprinters had higher values for C (14.8 VS. 12.9 J x kg (-1).m (-1)), Canaero (33.8 VS. 23.4%), [La] (5.9 VS. 3.1 mmol x L (-1)), stroke length (2.31 VS. 2.28 m) and IdC (-11.2 VS. -21.7%) and lower values for Caero (66.2 VS. 79.6%), VO2 net (2 825 VS. 2 903 mL x min (-1)), stroke rate (0.55 VS. 0.62 Hz) and stroke index (2.96 VS. 3.19 m (2) x s (-1)) than long-distance swimmers (all P<0.05). For the same relative intensity, sprinters accumulated more lactate and swam more slowly than long-distance swimmers; they showed greater change in their arm coordination but their swimming economy was lower.
International Journal of Sports Medicine 09/2010; 31(9):624-30. · 2.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate the effect of cold and thermoneutral water immersion on post-exercise parasympathetic reactivation, inferred from heart rate (HR) recovery (HRR) and HR variability (HRV) indices. Twelve men performed, on three separate occasions, an intermittent exercise bout (all-out 30-s Wingate test, 5 min seated recovery, followed by 5 min of submaximal running exercise), randomly followed by 5 min of passive (seated) recovery under either cold (CWI), thermoneutral water immersion (TWI) or control (CON) conditions. HRR indices (e.g., heart beats recovered in the first minute after exercise cessation, HRR(60)(s)) and vagal-related HRV indices (i.e., natural logarithm of the square root of the mean of the sum of the squares of differences between adjacent normal R-R intervals (Ln rMSSD)) were calculated for the three recovery conditions. HRR(60)(s) was faster in water immersion compared with CON conditions [30+/-9 beats min(-)(1) for CON vs. 43+/- 10 beats min(-)(1) for TWI (P=0.003) and 40+/-13 beats min(-)(1) for CWI (P=0.017)], while no difference was found between CWI and TWI (P=0.763). Ln rMSSD was higher in CWI (2.32+/-0.67 ms) compared with CON (1.98+/-0.74 ms, P=0.05) and TWI (2.01+/-0.61 ms, P=0.08; aES=1.07) conditions, with no difference between CON and TWI (P=0.964). Water immersion is a simple and efficient means of immediately triggering post-exercise parasympathetic activity, with colder immersion temperatures likely to be more effective at increasing parasympathetic activity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of skill level on index of arm coordination (IdC), mechanical power output (P(d)), and swim efficiency were studied in front crawlers swimming at different speeds. Seven national and seven regional swimmers performed an arms-only intermittent graded speed test on the MAD-system and in a free condition. The MAD-system measured the drag (D) and P(d). Swimming speed (v), stroke rate (SR), stroke length (SL), stroke index (SI), relative entry, pull, push, and recovery phase durations, and IdC were calculated. Swim efficiency was assessed from SI, the coefficient of variation of calculated hip intra-cyclic velocity variations (IVV), and the efficiency of propulsion generation, i.e., the ratio of v(2) to tangential hand speed squared (u(2)). Both groups increased propulsive continuity (IdC) and hand speed (u) and applied greater P(d) to overcome active drag with speed increases (p<.05). This motor organization adaptation was adequate because SI, IVV, and v(2)/u(2) were unchanged. National swimmers appeared more efficient, with greater propulsive continuity (IdC) and P(d) to reach higher v than regional swimmers (p<.05). The regional swimmers exhibited a higher u and lower SI, IVV, and v(2)/u(2) compared to national swimmers (p<.05), which revealed lower effectiveness to generate propulsion, suggesting that technique is a major determinant of swimming performance.
Human movement science 06/2010; 29(3):426-39. · 2.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The first aim of this study was to investigate how visual and somatosensory information influence handstand performance according to the expertise level of gymnasts. The second aim was to determine whether the general perceptual characteristics of gymnasts are linked with their handstand performances. In the first experiment, expert and nonexpert gymnasts performed a handstand on a force platform in 4 conditions: open or closed eyes on a firm or foam support. To assess the gymnasts' performance, the surface area (mm) covered by the trajectory of the center of pressure (CoP) was recorded. The results showed that (a) experts had significantly (p<0.05) better postural performance during the handstand than did nonexperts, whatever the visual condition, (b) nonexperts were unable to maintain the handstand without vision, whatever the support, and (c) the CoP surface was significantly greater on the foam surface than on the firm surface for both experts and nonexperts and, only for experts, whatever the visual condition. In the second experiment, the gymnasts' general perceptual characteristics (field dependence-independence) were evaluated using the rod-and-frame test (RFT). Experts were less field dependent than nonexperts, and the RFT results were positively correlated with postural performance. We thus suggest that, although they did not cope more efficiently with the somatosensory perturbation, expert gymnasts had developed a capacity to use the remaining sensory modalities efficiently when vision was removed. Also, a high level of gymnastics training may improve the ability to change the frame of reference. For the handstand, exercises alternating the use of visual and nonvisual information could be an interesting technique for trainers to improve gymnasts' performance.
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 06/2010; 24(6):1458-63. · 1.80 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to analyze the changes of the stroking pa- rameters and the coordination induced by the increase of energy cost (C) of aquatic locomotion. Six elite sprint swimmers performed a 6.300-m incremental swimming test. Stroking parameters (stroke rate, SR; stroke length, SL) and arm coordination (measured by index of coordination, IdC) have been calculated from video data and the C by measuring oxy- gen consumption and blood lactate. Results showed that an increase in C led to significant increases in IdC, SR and a decrease in SL. Linear regression between IdC and C, SR and C and SL and C suggested that a specific C corresponds to the emergence of a specific coordination and SR/SL ratio. The increase of the anaerobic part of C suggested that fa- tigue could also influence the emergence of motor organization.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study is aimed at examining the relationships between floatation parameters, assessed by field tests and the stroking characteristics of breaststroke swimmers. The floatation parameters were evaluated for 23 males and 23 females by the hydrostatic lift test, the sinking force acting at the ankle test and the maximal glide length after a push-off from the pool wall test. The swimmers performed two trials at submaximal and sprint pace, and then, from the data given by a PC-video velocity system, the duration and velocity of their propulsive, recovery and glide phases were analyzed. In the female group and at slow pace, glide duration is correlated with hydrostatic lift (r = .62) and with maximal glide length (r = .44); mean glide velocity is correlated with hydrostatic lift (r = .73). In the male group and at slow pace, the sinking force was correlated with the glide phase (r = -0.66) and with the mean glide velocity (r = -0.78). At sprint velocity, the hydrostatic lift is correlated with the glide phase in the female group (r = .52). Floatation parameters have an impact on the gliding phase of the breaststroke cycle.
Journal of applied biomechanics 05/2010; 26(2):150-8. · 1.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to determine whether ventilatory parameters would change in breath-hold divers (BHDs) after they performed the glossopharyngeal technique for lung insufflation. Fifteen elite BHDs, 16 non-expert BHDs and 15 control subjects participated in this cross-sectional study. Volumes and expiratory flow rates were measured twice, before and after the glossopharyngeal technique performed at rest. Before the technique, greater forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)) and lower FEV(1)/FVC were noted in the elite and non-expert BHDs compared with controls. No difference was noted regarding the other pulmonary parameters. After the technique, increases were noted in FVC, FEV(1) and maximal voluntary ventilation in the elite BHDs (P < 0.001, respectively). The FEF(25-75%)/FVC ratios were lower in the BHDs both before and after the technique, indicating possible dysanapsis. The ventilatory parameters observed after the glossopharyngeal technique indicated (1) higher lung volumes in expert BHDs and (2) a correlation with BHD performance (maximal dynamic BH performance). This correlation became more significant after the technique, indicating a positive effect of glossopharyngeal insufflation on performance.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study analyzed the kinematics and kinetics (jumping ability) of the aerial start phase in 11 elite front crawl sprinters. The aim was to determine whether a particular start technique leads to a short 15 m start time or whether several start profiles contribute equally well. All swimmers performed 3 starts using their preferential style, which was the grab start for all, followed by a 25-m swim at maximal velocity. Countermovement jump enabled to determine vertical jumping ability. Using a video device, phase durations, angles at takeoff and entry, and hip velocity were assessed. Correlation between all variables and the 15 m start time established the common features of an effective start but also revealed great intersubject variability. Cluster analysis enabled to distinguish 4 start profiles (flat, pike, flight, and Volkov), indicating that several individual profiles lead to short 15 m start times. It could be advised to consider the intersubject variability in relation to start time before favoring unique strategy.
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 02/2010; 24(2):507-16. · 1.80 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study quantified the effects of breathing compared to non-breathing and "race pace" on arm to leg coordination in the butterfly stroke. Twelve elite male swimmers swam at four paces: 400 m, 200 m, 100 m and 50 m. The arm and leg stroke phases were identified by video analysis to calculate the total time gap (TTG), which is the sum of T1 (hands' entry in the water/high point of first kick), T2 (beginning of the hands' backward movement/low point of first kick), T3 (hands' arrival in a vertical plane to the shoulders/high point of second kick) and T4 (hands' release from the water/low point of second kick). Two strokes with breathing were compared to two strokes with breath-holding. The TTG was greater with breathing (23.3% VS. 19%), showing less propulsive continuity between arm and leg actions (p<0.05). This was due to the shorter downward leg kick and longer arm catch and upward leg kick that led to longer glide time. Conversely, breathing leads to greater coupling between the hand exit and the end of leg propulsion, which was due to a shorter arm push phase to facilitate the head exit to breathe.
International Journal of Sports Medicine 02/2010; 31(3):167-73. · 2.27 Impact Factor