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Mechanical power, thrust power

Mechanical power, thrust power

Gatta, Giorgio, Cortesi, Matteo, Swaine, Ian ORCID: 0000-0002-3747-1370 and Zamparo, Paola (2017) Mechanical power, thrust power. Journal of Sports Sciences. ISSN 0264-0414 (Print), 1466-447X (Online) (doi:

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The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between mechanical power, thrust power, propelling efficiency and sprint performance in elite swimmers. Mechanical power was measured in 12 elite sprint male swimmers: i) in the laboratory, by using a whole body swimming ergometer (W’TOT); and ii) in the pool, by measuring full tethered swimming force (FT) and maximal swimming velocity (Vmax): W’T = FT .Vmax. Propelling efficiency ( P) was estimated based on the “paddle wheel model“ at Vmax. Vmax was 2.17 ± 0.06 m . s-1, P was 0.39 ± 0.02, W’T was 374 ± 62 W and W’TOT was 941 ± 92 W. Vmax was better related to W’T (useful power output: R=0.943, P<0.001) than to W’TOT (total power output: R=0.744, P<0.01) and this confirms the use of the full tethered test as a valid test to assess power propulsion in sprinters and to estimate swimming performance. The ratio W’T/ W’TOT (0.40 ± 0.04) represents the fraction of total mechanical power that can be utilized in water (e.g. P) and was indeed the same as that estimated based on the “paddle wheel model”; this supports the use of this model to estimate P in swimming.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Propelling efficiency; Hydrodynamic resistance; Sprint swimming; Power output
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Human Sciences (HUM)
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development > Centre for Exercise Activity and Rehabilitation
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2021 11:49

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