Improvement of kinesthetic awareness in synchronised swimming

Kinesthetic awareness is very important in swimming in order to better “feel the water”, improving the propulsive actions and reducing the drag forces [1]. Synchronized swimming requires flexibility, aerobic as well as anaerobic conditioning and abilities [2]. In particular kinesthetic awareness allows to maintain a fine body control and to better operate the actions of propulsion based on lift forces. Improvements of the kinesthetic awareness and the conditional capacities subsequent to a classic synchronized swimming training program have been investigated in this study. METHODS: Twelve 11 to 17 years old subjects practicing synchronized swimming participate in the study. Before and after a traditional six months synchronized swimming training, subjects underwent a series of tests (in order to assess kinesthetic awareness, technical and coordinative abilities, strength and power) such as: i. diving and gliding underwater in a streamline position (DG); ii. pushing off from the wall and gliding underwater in a streamline position (PG); iii. sculling while floating on the back for 15m (SC); iv. swimming the front crawl stroke at 90% of the maximum for 25m (CR90%); v. swimming front crawl stroke only with legs for 25m (LCR); vi. swimming front crawl stroke with close hands for 25m (CHCR); vii. swimming breaststroke for 25m in modified coordination (MBRST), viii. swimming front crawl stroke only with arms for 25m (ACR). Pre and post training results were then compared. RESULTS: No differences were found in PG, LCR and CHCR (p>.05). Significant improvements were found in DG (pre vs. post, 7.7±2.4 vs. 8.9±1.7 m, p<.05), SC (29.4±4.0 vs. 28.3±4.1 sec, p<.05), CR90% (the gap in percentage to the attended performance have been considered, 6.2±2.8 vs. 3.2±1.6 %, p<.05) and MBRST (30.2±5.2 vs. 28.9±5.4 sec, p<.05). In ACR no differences were found in the performance (22.9±3.5 vs. 22.0±2.7 sec, p>.05), whereas improvements were found in counting the number of the arm strokes needed to swim the distance (34.9±5.1 vs. 32.8±5.1 n, p<.05). CONCLUSION: The results suggest that six-months of traditional training in synchronized swimming would not significantly affect the conditional capacities such as strength and power (PG, LCR, CHCR and even ACR did not differ between pre- and post- training). On the contrary, training would mostly improve the kinesthetic awareness and the coordinative abilities. The significant improvements in ACR’s number of arm strokes (although the performance did not differ) and in DG could mainly depend on the progress of the technical actions related to the kinesthetic awareness evolution.
© Copyright 2009 14th annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Oslo/Norway, June 24-27, 2009, Book of Abstracts. Published by The Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. All rights reserved.

Subjects: synchronized swimming movement conception movement precision movement co-ordination perception technique coordinative ability
Notations: technical sports training science
Published in: 14th annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Oslo/Norway, June 24-27, 2009, Book of Abstracts
Editors: S. Loland, K. Boe, K. Fasting, J. Hallen, Y. Ommundsen, G. Roberts, E. Tsolakidis
Published: Oslo The Norwegian School of Sport Sciences 2009
Pages: 426-427
Document types: congress proceedings
Language: English
Level: advanced