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Passive Drag in Young Swimmers: Effects of Body Composition, Morphology and Gliding Position

Authors
  • Cortesi, Matteo
  • Gatta, Giorgio
  • Michielon, Giovanni1
  • Di Michele, Rocco2
  • Bartolomei, Sandro2
  • Scurati, Raffaele1
  • 1 (R.S.)
  • 2 (S.B.)
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Mar 18, 2020
Volume
17
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17062002
PMID: 32197399
PMCID: PMC7142561
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

The passive drag (Dp) during swimming is affected by the swimmer’s morphology, body density and body position. We evaluated the relative contribution of morphology, body composition, and body position adjustments in the prediction of a swimmer’s Dp. This observational study examined a sample of 60 competitive swimmers (31 male and 29 female) with a mean (±SD) age of 15.4 ± 3.1 years. The swimmer’s Dp was measured using an electro-mechanical towing device and the body composition was assessed using a bioelectrical impedance analyser. Body lengths and circumferences were measured in both the standing position and the simulated streamlined position. Partial correlation analysis with age as a control variable showed that Dp was largely correlated ( p < 0.05) with body mass, biacromial- and bi-iliac-breadth, streamline chest circumference and breadth. Body mass, Body Mass Index, chest circumference and streamline chest circumference showed a significant and moderate to strong effect (η2 > 0.55) on Dp. Body mass was the best predictor of Dp explaining 69% of the variability. These results indicate that swimmers with lower Dp values were: (i) slimmer, with lower fat and fat-free mass, (ii) thinner, with lower shoulder breadth, chest circumference, and streamline trunk diameters (iii), shorter, with lower streamline height. These findings can be used for talent identification in swimming, with particular reference to the gliding performance.

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