Laboratory Assessments and Field Tests in Predicting Competitive Performance of Swimmers
Research background and hypothesis. The assessments of functional fitness of swimmers includes the analyses
of the physical, physiological and biomechanical indices for scientific purposes. The hypothesis is that dynamical
parameters registered while performing field testing tasks could be more informative than laboratory assessments in
predicting the performance abilities.
The aim of the study was to compare the informativeness of field tests and laboratory assessments in predicting
the possible performance of athletes in the 50 m distance.
Research methods. Twelve professional swimmers took part in three testing procedures. First, each participant
performed a test in water to establish the traction force parameters and indices of muscle power and anaerobic
capacity. Second, the subjects performed a control 50 m freestyle swim the best they could. Third, the indices of
relative muscle power during jumping tasks, anaerobic capacity, and functional indices of cardiovascular system
were assessed during laboratory testing.
Research results. Significant correlation was found between the results in 50 m swimming and traction forces
while performing testing tasks in water or out of water with arms or arms and legs together. However, there was
no statistically significant correlation between the results in swimming and the height of vertical jump. Still there
exists significant correlation (p < 0.05) between the speed and force components as well as fatigability index and the
competition result (r = –0.47; r = 0.56 and r = 0.67, respectively).
Discussion and conclusions. Dynamical parameters measured in the swimming pool while performing field
tests are more suitable than the data of laboratory research for predicting the results of swimmers in the 50m freestyle
swim. The vertical high jump tests and indices of ECG allow distinguishing the factors limiting the working capacity
Keywords: swimming, functional fitness, field test.
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