The Interaction Between Intra-Cyclic Variation of the Velocity and Mean Swimming Velocity in Young Competitive Swimmers

Int J Sports Med. 2013 Feb;34(2):123-30. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1312582. Epub 2012 Sep 12.


The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between the intra-cyclic variation of the horizontal velocity (dv) and the velocity of the 4 competitive swimming techniques in young swimmers. 45 young swimmers performed a set of maximal 4 × 25 m (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly stroke) swims with in water start. A speed-meter cable was attached to the swimmer's hip. The dv and the swimming velocity were analyzed. Within-subject tests presented significant variations in the dv based on the swimming technique. Post-hoc test revealed significant differences across all pair-wised swimming techniques (P<0.001), except for the comparison between freestyle and backstroke (P=0.98). The dv was higher in the breaststroke, followed by the butterfly, the backstroke and the freestyle. The quadratic models had the best goodness-of-fit and the lower error of estimation for the relationship between the dv and the swimming velocity in all swimming techniques (0.24 ≤ R(2) ≤ 0.51). As a conclusion, there is a non-linear relationship where the increase of swimming velocity leads to a decrease of dv in young competitive swimmers.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical
  • Regression Analysis
  • Swimming / physiology*
  • Time and Motion Studies