BALANCE OF BIOMECHANICAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO SWIMMING PERFORMANCE

  • David R. Pendergast
  • Paola Zamparo
Keywords: body drag, energy cost, oxygen consumption, anaerobic metabolism, efficiency, stroke frequency

Abstract

Swimming is a unique activity carried out in a unique environment. Performance depends on interplay between biomechanical and bioenergetic aspects, thus if we can understand their interaction, as a function of velocity, we can understand the biophysics of swimming. The relationship between stroke frequency and velocity and their impact on drag and efficiency are critical. The biomechanical aspects dictate the velocity-dependent metabolic demands of swimming, thus the maximal performance is determined by the balance of metabolic power among aerobic and anaerobic pathways. Training is a determinant of swimming performance, and applying bioenergetic principles could improve performance.