Key somatic variables associated with, and differences between the 4 swimming strokes

Nevill, Alan M., Negra, Yassine, Myers, Tony D., Sammoud, Senda and Chaabene, Helmi (2020) Key somatic variables associated with, and differences between the 4 swimming strokes. Journal of Sports Sciences. pp. 1-8. ISSN 0264-0414

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This study identified key somatic and demographic characteristics that benefit all swimmers and, at the same time, identified further characteristics that benefit only specific swimming strokes. Three hundred sixty-three competitive-level swimmers (male [n = 202]; female [n = 161]) participated in the study. We adopted a multiplicative, allometric regression model to identify the key characteristics associated with 100 m swimming speeds (controlling for age). The model was refined using backward elimination. Characteristics that benefited some but not all strokes were identified by introducing stroke-by-predictor variable interactions. The regression analysis revealed 7 “common” characteristics that benefited all swimmers suggesting that all swimmers benefit from having less body fat, broad shoulders and hips, a greater arm span (but shorter lower arms) and greater forearm girths with smaller relaxed arm girths. The 4 stroke-specific characteristics reveal that backstroke swimmers benefit from longer backs, a finding that can be likened to boats with longer hulls also travel faster through the water. Other stroke-by-predictor variable interactions (taken together) identified that butterfly swimmers are characterized by greater muscularity in the lower legs. These results highlight the importance of considering somatic and demographic characteristics of young swimmers for talent identification purposes (i.e., to ensure that swimmers realize their most appropriate strokes).

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Sports Sciences on 04/03/2020, available online:
Divisions: Faculty of of Arts, Society and Professional Studies > Department of Health and Behavioural Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Hazel Barham
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2020 16:31
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2021 05:00

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