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Revista Brasileira de Educação Física e Esporte
Print version ISSN 1807-5509
APOLINARIO, Marcos Roberto et al. Effects of different breathing patterns on the performance and the arm stroke in the front Crawl. Rev. bras. educ. fís. esporte [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.1, pp. 149-159. ISSN 1807-5509. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1807-55092012000100014.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of different breathing patterns on the performance and the arm stroke in the front Crawl of elite athletes. Twenty-one young male athletes were recruited to the study. They were filmed swimming 25 meters at maximum speed using the front Crawl stroke, under four breathing conditions: preferential inhalation side (PS); nonpreferential inhalation side (NPS); bilateral inhalation (B) and without inhalation (N). Two digital video cameras (60fps) captured the images that were analyzed using the software Kinovea 0.8.7 in the central 10 meters of the length. Performance and temporal organization of stroke measures were considered for analysis. The results showed that the breathing pattern affects the performance of young elite athletes. In terms of speed, time, stroke rate and stroke length, comparing to any of the inhalation conditions (B, PS and NPS), to swim front Crawl stroke in apnea (N) is more advantageous. Therefore, the preferred breathing pattern does not necessarily correspond to the most efficient one in terms of performance. Thus, swimming teachers and coaches should encourage the practice and the usage of the apnea pattern as a tactical strategy for swimmers sprinters. Regarding arm stroke, the results showed that, given the change in the breathing pattern, young expert swimmers maintain the temporal structure of the right and left arm strokes (invariant stroke features) as well as the coordination between the arms unchanged while adjusting the aerial phase of the stroke (variant stroke features). Thus, young elite athletes exhibit a stroke with relative autonomy regarding the breath component and swim making adjustments considering the saving of resources.
Keywords : Swimming; Front Crawl stroke; Motor behavior.