An approach to identifying the effect of technique asymmetries on body alignment in swimming exemplified by a case study of a breaststroke swimmer.

Abstract

Despite the importance of maintaining good alignment to minimize resistive drag in swimming there is a paucity of literature relating to the effect of technique asymmetries on rotations of the body about a vertical axis (yaw). The purpose of this paper was to present an approach to analyzing the effect of technique asymmetries on rotations in swimming, exemplifying the process with a case study of a breaststroke swimmer. The kinematics and angular kinetics of an elite female international breaststroke swimmer performing a 'fatigue set' of four 100m swims were derived from digitized three-dimensional video data using a 13 segment body model. Personalised anthropometric data required to quantify accurately segment and whole body centres of mass and segmental angular momentum were obtained by the elliptical zone method. Five episodes of torques producing yaw occurred in the stroke cycle sampled for each 100m swim of this swimmer. These torques were linked to bilateral differences in upper limb kinematics during 1) out-sweep; 2) in-sweep; 3) upper limb recovery; and lower limb kinematics during 4) Lower limb recovery and 5) the kick. It has been shown that by quantifying whole body torques, in conjunction with the kinematic movement patterns, the effect of technique asymmetries on body alignment can be assessed. Assessment of individual swimmers in this manner provides a solid foundation for planning interventions in strength, flexibility, and technique to improve alignment and performance. Key pointsA unique (not been attempted previously) study of yaw in breaststroke swimming that yields new knowledge of how technique and strength asymmetries affects body alignment.Establishes an approach to investigation of yaw in swimming using 3D videography and inverse dynamics.Exemplifies the approach with a case study. The case study illustrated the potential of the approach to enable detailed assessment of yaw and to explain how the yaw is produced in terms of the asymmetries in speed and magnitude of the swimming actions.This procedure should be used to identify and quantify asymmetries that might impair performance.

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Cite this paper

@article{Sanders2015AnAT, title={An approach to identifying the effect of technique asymmetries on body alignment in swimming exemplified by a case study of a breaststroke swimmer.}, author={Ross H Sanders and Malcolm M. Fairweather and Alison M Alcock and Carla Mccabe}, journal={Journal of sports science & medicine}, year={2015}, volume={14 2}, pages={304-14} }