MEASURING PROPULSIVE FORCE WITHIN THE DIFFERENT PHASES OF BACKSTROKE SWIMMING

  • D. Formosa
  • B. Mason
  • B. Burkett
Keywords: biomechanics, swimming, backstroke, propulsion, technique

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify the propulsive force profile associated within the different phases of backstroke to provide individual feedback to elite swimmers and coaches. Elite backstrokers (n=4) performed three maximal velocity time trials to determine the swimmers maximum velocity. This was followed by three passive drag trials and three active drag trials using a flux vector drive dynamometer mounted on a force platform to tow them at set velocities (derived from the swimmer’s maximum swim pace) while measuring the force to do so. The computed active drag and the propulsive propelling force profile were represented as a dynamic parameter, allowing identification of intra cyclic force fluctuations with respect to time. The force profiles were synchronised to video footage which provided unique quantitative and individual stroke kinematic feedback to the elite swimmers and coaches.