The relationship between upper-body anaerobic power outputs from an arm-cranking Wingate test and 100-metre sprint swimming
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The aim of this research investigation was to establish whether a relationship exists between 100-m freestyle sprint swimming and anaerobic power outputs from an upper-body anaerobic test. The results would give a clear view on the relationship between upper-body anaerobic power and sprint swimming. 10 University club level male swimmers participated in the study. A modified cycle ergometer was used to do an upper-body Wingate anaerobic test by all of the participants. All of the subjects also completed 100-m freestyle sprints. The results indicated that no significant relationships existed between the anaerobic power parameters (anaerobic peak power, anaerobic mean power and fatigue index) and 100-m swimming performance (r = -0.59, r = -0.47 and r = -0.31 respectively). The swim times recorded were on average slower than previously reported 100-m freestyle times in similar studies, however power outputs were higher than previously reported (mean power = 352.89). With no significant relationships between the variables in this study, it is right to say that high peak power in the upper-body may not be that important to 100-m (and 50-m) freestyle sprint swimmers. Other factors, such as lower-body power, technique and drag also influence 100-m speed, and more research is needed on what influences speed, and to what degree, as to help coaches improve their swimmers’ times. Also, as the test performed required arm-cranking, it may be that the test performed is not the most valid test available for testing swimmers’ anaerobic parameters, and other equipment (biokinetic swim bench) could be used instead.
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