SIR 10: What Does 15 Years of Injuries Tell Us?

Which injuries are most common...

As the title suggests, this study followed the occurrence of injuries (and a prevention program) over the course of 15 years in the Japanese national swim team. Below are some excerpts that stood out to me:

  • A lower prevalence of incidence injury is associated with swimming compared with other sports, but the prevalence of overuse injury is high. Furthermore, for swimming the incidence of injury is higher during training than during competition.

  • In this study, injuries were defined as overuse injuries as follows: pain that occurred spontaneously without any obvious traumatic events, which led to difficulties in sports activities, and resulted in restriction of the swimmer’s participation for at least 1 day beyond the day of injury.

  • A downward trend was observed for lumbar injury from 2002 to 2016. The highest incidence, 33.3%, was observed in 2002. However, the incidence in 2009, the year immediately following the implementation of the lumbar injury prevention project, was the lowest at 5.6%.

  • A total of 283 injuries were recorded for the Japan national swim team from 2002 to 2016. The highest injury rate was observed for the lumbar, followed by shoulder, knee and ankle

  • The top three injuries for each swimming stroke were as follows:

  • Freestyle: lumbar, knee, shoulder;

  • Back- stroke: lumbar, shoulder, ankle;

  • Breaststroke: lumbar, shoulder, knee;

  • Butterfly: lumbar, shoulder, knee;

  • Individual medley: lumbar, shoulder and knee injury incidence was equal

  • The injury rate was significantly higher in females (52.0%) than in males

  • If swimmers perform a catch motion from the moment they enter the water with insufficient mobility of the thoracic vertebrae, impingement is likely to occur due to excessive inner rotation of the scapulobrachial joint. The backstroke swimmers may need to acquire higher thoracic vertebrae and rib cage mobility as opposed to other strokes.

  • The increase in the knee joint injury incidence became noticeable in this study for the period 2008–2010, during which the start inclination angle changed from 7.5° to 10° and with starting block. The time when the start block was introduced coincided with the period when the increase in the incidence of knee joint injuries was noted.

  • Regarding older age, findings indicate that there was no relationship between shoulder joint injury and age. In contrast, a long history of participation in swimming competitions was a risk factor for injury. In this study age was a risk factor because there was a possibility that an older age may correlate with a longer history of training load.

Injury trend analysis in the Japan national swim team from 2002 to 2016: effect of the lumbar injury prevention project

SIR 9: A Critical Look At USRPT

Ultra-Short Race-Pace Training (USRPT) In Swimming: Current Perspectives

I sat with this article for awhile as I tried to clearly understand it’s perspective. it’s not that it was a hard read, but as a firm supporter of USRPT I needed to distance myself from my emotions before I could appreciate the points of the authors.

Whether you support USRPT or you are skeptical I encourage you to read this paper for what it is. It is not bashing or attacking USRPT in any way. Rather, it is a healthy challenge, as all scientific claims should be challenged. After you’re done reading I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Ultra-Short Race-Pace Training (USRPT) In Swimming: Current Perspectives

SIR 7: Wearables: Helpful in The Pool?

That depends on what you need.

There has been a recent boom of wearable technology for swimmers, each gadget making claims of its own. From splits to stroke identification you can find a watch, a band or even a pair of goggles to measure whatever you want, but of course the obvious question remains: how good are they really?

The Premise:

Is the TritonWear® device a valid measurement of swimming performance

The Method:

Twenty youth swimmers completed a 100 m swim in a 25 m pool, swimming breaststroke or freestyle wearing the TritonWear® device, whilst being filmed above and below water with three cameras.

The conclusion:

The TritonWear® can be used for basic metrics of performance, such as split-time and speed but the error of more complex measurements, such as time underwater or turn-times, renders them unable to identify typical performance changes.

The Research:

The validity of a head-worn inertial sensor for measurements of swimming performance

Butterfly hand position - What do you think?

I’m in a discussion with a parent and I’d like to know your thoughts on this:

When entering in butterfly how should the hands be positioned? Wrist Flexed? Fingers down? Flat?

Please try to back up your answer with something substantial (biomechanics, hydrodynamics…)

Reply →

SIR 6: Swimming a 1500 like cod

Fish in nature have a burst of speed they coast. Should we do the same?

For most of my coaching career I’ve followed a simple logic: In every stroke except for breaststroke, gliding = slowing down. That makes perfect sense to me and I’ve always taught my swimmers to eliminate gaps in propulsion so that they are always getting maximum forward motion, but now that I’ve come across this study I’m asking myself a few questions. Before I get to my questions, here’s the study:

Gait transition in swimming

Here’s one of my major questions: is a no-glide philosophy only for sprint races? I can see how that argument could be made from an energy perspective ie. races that last longer require energy to last for a longer period if time. Surely this doesn’t mean we can resort to catch-up stroke however as catch-up stroke not only has gaps in propulsion, it is also inefficient by encouraging swimmer to be more flat in the water.

I have so many more questions like: “How is the index of coordination affected?”, but I shall hold them.

Here’s an interesting excerpt:

Burst-and-coast swimming behavior is quite common in nature. It consists of cyclic burst of swimming movements followed by gliding phase in which the body is not producing thrust. This surprising strategy of propulsion is observed in fishes such as cod and saithe and was shown to be actually energetically cheaper than steady swimming at the same average velocity

What do you think? Should we also begin bursting and coasting?

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