Evaluation of arm-to-leg coordination in freestyle swimming
AbstractThis study proposes a new method to evaluate arm-to-leg coordination in the freestyle swimming. Eight international-level youth swimmers were tested on a 50m swim at the speed of their 400m personal best (V400), and recorded at 60Hz bilaterally. The discrete relative phase angles between the arm-to-leg movements were identified by video analysis, using four key points adapted from Maglischo (2009): the hand entry corresponding to the lowest point of the ipsilateral kick (C1), the arm catch corresponding to the lowest point of the ipsilateral kick (C2), the lowest point on the arm pull corresponding with the lowest point of the contralateral kick (C3), and the hand exit corresponding to the lowest point of the ipsilateral kick (C4). International-level youth swimmers showed arm-to-leg discrete relative phase values of355.9º±32.7º, 0.5º±38.7º, 352.9º±35.1º and17.5º±33.0º, respectively, for each of the four key events on the freestyle swimming cycle. This coordinative parameter allowed evaluating if the arm-to-leg movements of the swimmer were coordinated in-phase (between 330º and 30º), anti-phase (between 150º and 210º) or out-of-phase on the different phases of freestyle swimming. Therefore, it represented a practical tool to be used by coaches and researchers to quantitatively evaluate their swimming technique.
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