Load-Velocity Profile and Active Drag in Young Female Swimmers: An Age-Group Comparison

Christina Wettengl, Rebecca Karlsson, Bjørn H. Olstad, Tomohiro Gonjo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The present study aimed to establish differences in load-velocity profiling, active drag (AD), and drag coefficient (Cd) between 3 age groups of female swimmers.

Methods: Thirty-three swimmers (11, 13, or 16 y old) were recruited. The individual load-velocity profile was determined for the 4 competitive swimming strokes. The maximal velocity (V0), maximal load (L0), L0 normalized to the body mass, AD, and Cd were compared between the groups. A 2-way analysis of variance and correlation analysis were conducted.

Results: Compared with their younger counterparts, 16-year-old swimmers generally had larger V0, L0, and AD, which was particularly evident when comparing them with 11-year-old swimmers (P ≤ .052). The exception was breaststroke, where no differences were observed in L0 and AD and Cd was smaller in the 16-year-old group than the 11-year-old group (P = .03). There was a negative correlation between Cd and V0 for all groups in backstroke (P ≤ .038) and for the 11-year-old group and 13-year-old group in breaststroke (P ≤ .022) and front crawl (P ≤ .010). For the 16-year-old group, large correlations with V0 were observed for L0, L0 normalized to the body mass, and AD (P ≤ .010) in breaststroke and for L0 and AD with V0 in front crawl (P ≤ .042). In butterfly, large negative correlations with V0 were observed in the 13-year-old group for all parameters (P ≤ .027).

Conclusions: Greater propulsive force is likely the factor that differentiates the oldest age group from the younger groups, except for breaststroke, where a lower Cd (implying a better technique) is evident in the oldest group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Volume19
Issue number1
Early online date19 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • semitethered
  • strength
  • swimming
  • technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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