Free-swimming performance depends strongly on the ability to develop propulsive force and minimise resistive drag. Therefore, estimating resistive drag (passive or active) may be important to understand how free-swimming performance can be improved. The purpose of this narrative overview was to describe and discuss experimental methods of measuring or estimating active and passive drag relevant to competitive swimming. Studies were identified using a mixed-model approach comprising a search of SCOPUS and Web of Science data bases, follow-up of relevant studies cited in manuscripts from the primary search, and additional studies identified by the co-authors based on their specific areas of fluid dynamics expertise. The utility and limitations of active and passive drag methods were critically discussed with reference to primary research domains in this field, 'swimmer morphology' and 'technique analysis'. This overview and the subsequent discussions provide implications for researchers when selecting an appropriate method to measure resistive forces (active or passive) relevant to improving performance in free-swimming.
- force measurement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation