Int J Sports Med 2006; 27(11): 894-899
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-923776
Training & Testing

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Evaluation of the Energy Expenditure in Competitive Swimming Strokes

T. M. Barbosa1 , R. Fernandes2 , K. L. Keskinen3 , 4 , P. Colaço2 , C. Cardoso2 , J. Silva2 , J. P. Vilas-Boas2
  • 1Department of Sports Sciences, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Bragança, Portugal
  • 2Faculty of Sports Sciences, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
  • 3Finnish Society for Research in Sport and Physical Education, Helsinki, Finland
  • 4Department of Biology of Physical Activity, Universisty of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
Further Information

Publication History

Accepted after revision: December 5, 2005

Publication Date:
11 April 2006 (online)

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to measure and compare the total energy expenditure of the four competitive swimming strokes. Twenty-six swimmers of international level were submitted to an incremental set of 200-m swims (5 swimmers at Breaststroke, 5 swimmers at Backstroke, 4 swimmers at Butterfly and 12 swimmers at Front Crawl). The starting velocity was approximately 0.3 m · s-1 less than a swimmer's best performance and thereafter increased by 0.05 m · s-1 after each swim until exhaustion. Cardio-pulmonary and gas exchange parameters were measured breath-by-breath (BxB) for each swim to analyze oxygen consumption (V·O2) and other energetic parameters by portable metabolic cart (K4b2, Cosmed, Rome, Italy). A respiratory snorkel and valve system with low hydrodynamic resistance was used to measure pulmonary ventilation and to collect breathing air samples. Blood samples from the ear lobe were collected before and after each swim to analyze blood lactate concentration (YSI 1500 L, Yellow Springs, Ohio, USA). Total energy expenditure (Ėtot), was calculated for each 200-m stage. Ėtot differed significantly between the strokes at all selected velocities. At the velocity of 1.0 m · s-1 and of 1.2 m · s-1 the Ėtot was significantly higher in Breaststroke than in Backstroke, in Breaststroke than in Freestyle and in Butterfly than in Freestyle. At the velocity of 1.4 m · s-1, the Ėtot was significantly higher in Breaststroke than in Backstroke, in Backstroke than in Freestyle, in Breaststroke than in Freestyle and in Butterfly than in Freestyle. At the velocity of 1.6 m · s-1, the Ėtot was significantly higher in Breaststroke and in Butterfly than in Freestyle. As a conclusion, Ėtot of well-trained competitive swimmers was measured over a large range of velocities utilising a new BxB technique. Freestyle was shown to be the most economic among the competitive swimming strokes, followed by the Backstroke, the Butterfly and the Breaststroke.

References

  • 1 Alves F. Average resultant impulse per phase in swimming: a tool for technical analysis. Abrantes J Proceedings of the XIVth International Symposium on Biomechanics in Sports. Lisbon; Edition of Faculty of Human Movement of the Technical University of Lisbon 1996: 281-284
  • 2 Alves F, Gomes-Pereira J, Pereira F. Determinants of energy cost of front crawl and backstroke swimming and competitive performance. Troup JP, Hollander AP, Strasse D, Trappe SW, Cappaert JM, Trappe TA Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming VII. London; E & FN Spon 1996: 185-192
  • 3 Alves F, Costa M, Gomes-Pereira J. The influence of swimming velocity on the kinematic characteristics of backstroke swimming. Riehle H, Vieten M Proceedings II of the XVIth International Symposium on Biomechanics in Sports. Konstanz; Universitätsverlag Konstanz 1998: 104-107
  • 4 Barbosa T, Santos Silva J, Sousa F, Vilas-Boas J P. Measurement of butterfly average resultant impulse per phase. Gianikellis K Proceedings of the XXth International Symposium on Biomechanics in Sports. Cáceres; Universidad de Extremadura 2002: 35-38
  • 5 Barbosa T, Santos Silva J, Sousa F, Vilas-Boas J P. Comparative study of the response of kinematical variables from the hip and the center of mass in butterfliers. Chatard J‐C Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming IX. St. Étienne; Publications de l'Université de St. Étienne 2003: 93-98
  • 6 Camus G, Fossiom A, Juchmès J, Burrette J. Equivalent énergétique de la production du lactate plasmatique dans la course intensité supramaximale.  Arch Int Physiol Biochim. 1984;  92 361-368
  • 7 Camus G, Thys H. An evaluation of the maximal aerobic capacity in man.  Int J Sports Med. 1991;  12 349-355
  • 8 Cappaert J, Pease D, Troup J. Biomechanical highlights of world champion and olympic swimmers. Troup JP, Hollander AP, Strasse D, Trappe SW, Cappaert JM, Trappe TA Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming VII. London; E & FN Spon 1996: 76-80
  • 9 Chatard J ‐C, Lavoie J, Lacour J. Analysis of determinants of swimming economy in front crawl.  Eur J Appl Physiol. 1990;  61 88-92
  • 10 Chollet D, Tourny-Chollet C, Gleizes F. Evolution of co-ordination in flat breaststroke in relation to velocity. Keskinen K, Komi P, Hollander AP Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming VIII. Jyväskylä; Gummerus Printing 1999: 29-32
  • 11 Costill D, Kovaleski J, Porter D, Fielding R, King D. Energy expenditure during front crawl swimming: predicting success in middle-distance events.  Int J Sports Med. 1985;  6 266-270
  • 12 Di Prampero P, Pendergast D, Wilson D, Rennie D. Blood lactatic acid concentrations in high velocity swimming. Eriksson B, Furberg B Swimming Medicine IV. Baltimore; University Park Press 1978: 249-261
  • 13 Hausswirth C, Bigard A, Le Chevalier J. The Cosmed K4 telemetry system as an accurate device for oxygen uptake measurements during exercise.  Int J Sports Med. 1997;  18 449-453
  • 14 Holmér I. Physiology of swimming man.  Acta Phys Scand. 1974;  407 (Suppl) 1-55
  • 15 Karpovich P, Millman N. Energy expenditure in swimming.  Am J Physiol. 1944;  142 140-144
  • 16 Keskinen K, Komi P. Intracycle variation in force, velocity and power as a measure of technique performance during front crawl swimming. Bouisset S, Mentral S, Mond H XIVth ISB Congress. Paris; Publ Societé de Biomécanique 1993: 676-677
  • 17 Keskinen K, Rodríguez F, Keskinen O. Respiratory snorkel and valve system for breath-by-breath gas analysis in swimming.  Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2003;  13 322-329
  • 18 Kolmogorov S, Rumyantseva O, Gordon B, Cappaert J. Hydrodynamic characteristics of competitive swimmers of different genders and performance levels.  J Appl Biomechanics. 1997;  13 88-97
  • 19 Kornecki S, Bober T. Extreme velocities of a swimming cycle as a technique criterion. Eriksson B, Furberg B Swimming Medicine IV. Baltimore, Maryland; University Park Press 1978: 402-407
  • 20 Lavoie J-M, Montpetit R. Applied Physiology of swimming.  Sports Med. 1985;  3 165-188
  • 21 Maiolo C, Melchiorri G, Lacopino L, Masala S, De Lorenzo A. Physical activity energy expenditure measured using a portable telemetric device in comparison with a mass spectrometer.  Br J Sports Med. 2003;  37 445-447
  • 22 Manley P, Atha J. Intra-stroke velocity fluctuations in paces breaststroke swimming. MacLaren D, Reilly T, Lees A Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming VI. London; E & FN Spon 1992: 151-160
  • 23 Mason B, Tong Z, Richards R. Propulsion in the Butterfly stroke. MacLaren D, Reilly T, Lees A Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming VI. London; E & FN Spon 1992: 81-86
  • 24 McLaughlin J, King G, Howley E, Bassett D, Ainsworth B. Validation of the COSMED K4b2 portable metabolic system.  Int J Sports Med. 2001;  22 280-284
  • 25 Nigg B. Selected methodology in biomechanics with respect to swimming. Hollander AP, Huijing PA, de Groot G Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming. Champaign, Illinois; Human Kinetics Publishers 1983: 72-80
  • 26 Onodera S, Miyachi M, Yano H, Yano L, Hoshijnma Y, Harada T. Effects of buoyancy and body density on energy cost during swimming. Keskinen K, Komi P, Hollander AP Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming VIII. Jyväskylä; Gummerus Printing 1999: 355-358
  • 27 Pendergast D, di Prampero P, Craig A, Rennie D. The influence of some selected biomechanical factors on the energy cost of swimming. Eriksson B, Furberg B Swimming Medicine IV. Baltimore; University Park Press 1978: 367-378
  • 28 Rodríguez F. Cardiorespiratory and metabolic field testing in swimming and water polo: from physiological concepts to practical methods. Keskinen K, Komi P, Hollander AP Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming VIII. Jyväskylä; Gummerus Printing 1999: 219-226
  • 29 Rodríguez F, Keskinen K, Keskinen O, Malvela M. Oxygen uptake kinetics during free swimming: a pilot study. Chatard J‐C Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming IX. St. Étienne; Publications de l'Université de St. Étienne 2003: 279-384
  • 30 Sanders R. Some aspects of butterfly technique of New Zealand Pan Pacific squad swimmers. Troup JP, Hollander AP, Strasse D, Trappe SW, Cappaert JM, Trappe TA Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming VII. London; E & FN Spon 1996: 23-28
  • 31 Smith H, Montpetit R, Perrault H. The aerobic demand of backstroke swimming, and its relation to body size, stroke technique, and performance.  Eur J Appl Physiol. 1988;  58 182-188
  • 32 Takagi H, Sugimoto S, Miyashita M, Nomura T, Wakayoshi K, Okuno K, Ogita F, Ikuta Y, Wilson B. Arm and leg coordination during breaststroke: analysis of 9th FINA World Swimming Championship Fukuouka 2001. Chatard J‐C Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming IX. St. Étienne; Publications de l'Université de St. Étienne 2003: 301-306
  • 33 Thevelein X, Daly D, Persyn U. Measurement of total energy use in the evaluation of competitive swimmers. Bachl N, Prakup L, Suckert R Current Topics in Sports Medicine. Wien; Urban & Schwarzenberg 1984: 668-676
  • 34 Togashi T, Nomura T. A biomechanical analysis of the swimmer using the butterfly stroke. MacLaren D, Reilly T, Lees A (eds). Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming VI. London; E & FN Spon 1992: 87-91
  • 35 Troup J P. Aerobic characteristics of the four competitive strokes. Troup JP International Center for Aquatic Research Annual. Studies by the International Center for Aquatic Research (1990 - 1991). Colorado Spring; US Swimming Press 1991: 3-7
  • 36 Troup J, Hollander A, Bone M, Trappe S, Barzdukas A. Performance-related differences in the anaerobic contribution of competitive Freestyle swimmers. MacLaren D, Reilly T, Lees A Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming VI. London; E & FN Spon 1992: 271-278
  • 37 Van Handel P, Katz A, Morrow J, Troup J, Daniels J, Bradley P. Aerobic economy and competitive performance of US elite swimmers. Ungerechts B, Wilke K, Reischle K Swimming Science V. Champaign, Illinois; Human Kinetics Books 1988: 219-227
  • 38 Van Tilborgh L, Willems E, Persyn U. Estimation of breaststroke propulsion and resistance-resultant impulses from film analyses. Ungerechts B, Wilke K, Reischle K Swimming Science V. Champaign, Illinois; Human Kinetics Books 1988: 67-71
  • 39 Vilas-Boas J P. Maximum propulsive force and maximum propulsive impulse in breaststroke swimming technique. Barbaras A, Fábian G Proceedings of the XIIth International Symposium on Biomechanics in Sports. Budapest; Hungarian University of Physical Education 1994: 307-310
  • 40 Vilas-Boas J P, Santos P. Comparison of swimming economy in three breaststroke techniques. Miyashita M, Mutoh Y, Richardson A Medicine and Science in Aquatic Sports. Karger; Basel 1994: 48-54
  • 41 Vilas-Boas J P. Speed fluctuations and energy cost of different breaststroke techniques. Troup JP, Hollander AP, Strasse D, Trappe SW, Cappaert JM, Trappe TA Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming VII. London; E & FN Spon 1996: 167-171
  • 42 Wakayoshi K, D'Acquisto J, Cappaert J, Troup J. Relationship between oxygen uptake, stroke rate and swimming velocity in competitive swimming.  Int J Sports Med. 1995;  16 19-23
  • 43 Wakayoshi K, D'Acquisto J, Cappaert J, Troup J P. Relationship between metabolic parameters and stroking technique characteristics in front crawl. Troup JP, Hollander AP, Strasse D, Trappe SW, Cappaert JM, Trappe TA Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming VII. London; E & FN Spon 1996: 152-158
  • 44 Yanai T. Rotational effect of buoyancy in front crawl: does it really cause the legs to sink?.  J Biomechanics. 2001;  34 235-243
  • 45 Zamparo P, Antonutto G, Capelli C, Francescato M, Girardis M, Sangoi R, Soule R, Pendergast D. Effects of body density, gender and growth on underwater torque.  Scan J Med Sci Sports. 1996;  6 273-280

Tiago Barbosa

Department of Sports Sciences, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança

Campus Sta. Apolónia

Apartado 1101

5301 - 856 Bragança

Portugal

Phone: + 351273303000

Fax: + 35 12 73 30 31 35

Email: [email protected]