STROKE PARAMETERS AND ARM COORDINATION IN COMPETITIVE UNILATERAL ARM AMPUTEE FRONT CRAWL SWIMMERS

  • C. Osborough
  • C. Payton
  • D. Daly
Keywords: aquatics, biomechanics, motor control, disability sport

Abstract

The aims of this study were to: (1) determine the changes in stroke parameters and arm coordination as a function of swimming speed; and (2) examine the relationships between stroke parameters and arm coordination, for competitive unilateral arm amputee front crawl swimmers. Thirteen highly-trained swimmers (3 male, 10 female) were filmed underwater from lateral views during six increasingly faster 25 m front crawl trials. Increases in swimming speed were achieved by an increase in stroke frequency which coincided with a decrease in stroke length. All swimmers showed asymmetric coordination between their affected and unaffected arm pulls, which was not affected by an increase in swimming speed up to maximum. The fastest amputee swimmers used higher stroke frequencies and less catch-up coordination before their affected arm pull, when compared to the slower swimmers. Reducing the time delay before initiating the affected arm pull appears to be beneficial for successful swimming performance.