Maximum sustained fin-kick thrust in underwater swimming

Undersea Hyperb Med. 1995 Sep;22(3):241-8.


We examined the upper limit of a diver's fin-kick thrust force using a stationary-swimming ergometer. Heart rate, respiratory minute volume, oxygen uptake, and performance rate were measured in four male subjects who swam constantly for 8 min to maintain a horizontal position against an applied force at a depth of 0.7 m. The water temperature was controlled at 26 degrees +/- 1 degree C. The performance rate, which was the parameter of how well the subjects compensated for the applied load, showed an upper limit around 64 N of sustainable thrust force. This meant that the diver could generate the swimming thrust force within 64 N continuously for 8 min in a steady state. Heart rate, respiratory minute volume, and O2 uptake showed almost proportional increases to the applied load within 64 N and tended to plateau about 69 N.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Diving / physiology
  • Equipment Design
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Respiration / physiology*
  • Swimming / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology*