Kinematic, Coordinative and Efficiency Parameters of Physically Impaired Swimmers at Maximum Aerobic Power Speed

The Open Sports Sciences Journal 15 Nov 2019 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1875399X01912010035



In paralympic swimming, the biomechanical parameters related to performance are effectively determined according to the potentialities and peculiarities of each athlete. However, a clear integrated approach to these parameters for swimmers with physical disabilities at the speed of maximum oxygen uptake (vV̇O2max) is still practically non-existent.


The purpose of this study was twofold: (i) to assess kinematic, coordinative and efficiency parameters measured at vV̇O2max in swimmers with physical impairments; and (ii) to correlate these biomechanical parameters with the time for a 200 m maximum test.


Eleven swimmers with physical disabilities (seven males and four females) were assessed at vV̇O2max with support from a three-dimensional kinematic method. The performance parameters analysed were: (i) kinematic - stroke rate (SR), stroke length (SL), average swimming speed (SS) and intra-cyclic velocity variation (IVV); (ii) coordinative - index of coordination (IdC) and adapted index of coordination (IdCadapt); and (iii) swimming efficiency - propelling efficiency (çp).


The overall results showed high dispersion and wide confidence intervals for the kinematic and coordinative variables. The mean and standard deviation of vV̇O2max and V̇O2 at the same intensity were 0.90 ± 0.13 m/s and 38.2 ± 8.3 ml/kg/min, respectively.


Swimmers with less significant impact of physical disability on specific swimming tasks presented higher SL, SS and çp. The IVV was higher in swimmers with a greater impact of disability on conducting specific competitive swimming tasks. In general, the catch-up inter-arm coordination model is adopted.

Keywords: Adapted swimming, Disability, Paralympics, Oxygen uptake, Biomechanics, Coordination.
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