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Mechanical and propelling efficiency in swimming derived from exercise using a laboratory-based whole-body swimming ergometer

Mechanical and propelling efficiency in swimming derived from exercise using a laboratory-based whole-body swimming ergometer

Zamparo, Paola and Swaine, Ian L. (2012) Mechanical and propelling efficiency in swimming derived from exercise using a laboratory-based whole-body swimming ergometer. Journal of Applied Physiology, 113 (4). pp. 584-594. ISSN 8750-7587 (Print), 1522-1601 (Online) (doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00324.2012)

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Abstract

Determining the efficiency of a swimming stroke is difficult because different “efficiencies” can be computed based on the partitioning of mechanical power output (Ẇ) into its useful and nonuseful components, as well as because of the difficulties in measuring the forces that a swimmer can exert in water. In this paper, overall efficiency (ηO = ẆTOT/Ė, where ẆTOT is total mechanical power output, and Ė is overall metabolic power input) was calculated in 10 swimmers by means of a laboratory-based whole-body swimming ergometer, whereas propelling efficiency (ηP = ẆD/ẆTOT, where ẆD is the power to overcome drag) was estimated based on these values and on values of drag efficiency (ηD = ẆD/Ė): ηP = ηD/ηO. The values of ηD reported in the literature range from 0.03 to 0.09 (based on data for passive and active drag, respectively). ηO was 0.28 ± 0.01, and ηP was estimated to range from ∼0.10 (ηD = 0.03) to 0.35 (ηD = 0.09). Even if there are obvious limitations to exact simulation of the whole swimming stroke within the laboratory, these calculations suggest that the data reported in the literature for ηO are probably underestimated, because not all components of ẆTOT can be measured accurately in this environment. Similarly, our estimations of ηP suggest that the data reported in the literature are probably overestimated.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: mechanical and propelling efficiency, swimming, exercise, laboratory-based whole-body swimming ergometer
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Q Science > QP Physiology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:33
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/13670

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