• Maren Witt
Keywords: strength diagnosis, endurance, upper limbs, swimming


Recently the performance factor special strength abilities has gained importance in endurance athletes (Verchoshanskij 1991; Wilke/Madsen 1988; Polunin/Snesarev 1990; Reiß 1979, Verchoshanskij 1992). Based on experience in diagnosis with an arm pulling apparatus in skiing and swimming we developed a rope pulling ergometer for upper limbs to measure force and power in endurance sports, for instance swimming, triathlon, skiing, biathlon or canoeing. Diagnosis of strength or power endurance is always performed with increasing resistance (e.g. additional loads, running uphill, gear in cycling). Thus the athletes are always forced to generate a higher energy output per repetition in relation to the original movement. As a consequence the duration of the active part of movement (force production) is prolonged. The purpose with this strength and power diagnosis was to measure the athletes’ response to these forced conditions. In our paper we describe variations of biomechanical parameters. With the rope pulling ergometer force and distance for each arm were recorded and work, power, pulling distance, time and velocity were calculated. The athletes performed 10 maximum power repetitions against a defined resistance. After a short rest endurance tests with differing duration (1, 2, 4 minutes) and movement patterns (alterated or simulated arm movement) were performed. In the study top level swimmers served as subjects. Selected results are presented in table 1: We found different values of work and power for the individual subjects. The total power performed by the athletes amount to 200 to 320 W. This corresponds to body mass related power of maximally 3.5 W/kg. That means that in test of the upper extremities on the arm pulling ergometer athletes reach total power values lower than in a cycling ergometer test for the lower extremities. But during the active part of the armstroke movement (power per repetition) higher mechanical power values are measured; in the 10 repetitions-maximum-test they amount to 500 W and during endurance test to about 400 W. According to our opinion the relation between active stroke and rest within one repetition is of special importance. This feature essentially influences adaptation processes in training.
Equipment / Instrumentation