Land-based warm-up is inferior to water-based warm-up for 100m freestyle swimming performance

O'HAGAN, Ciara and BORTHWICK, Ryan E (2016). Land-based warm-up is inferior to water-based warm-up for 100m freestyle swimming performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 48(5S) (Supp 1), p. 944.

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In swimming competitions, athletes must usually complete their pool-based warm-up 20 minutes before their race time, and spend the intervening time out of the water in a call room. It is possible that some of the beneficial effects of completing a warm-up may be lost during this time. PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a land-based warm up (LAND) on 100m freestyle swimming performance, compared to a traditional water-based warm-up (WATER). METHODS: Twenty-two national level swimmers ( 11 female, age 17.9 ± 2.5 years, 100m freestyle personal best 59.8 ± 2.8 s; 11 male, age 18.6 ± 2.8 years, 100m freestyle personal best 52.8 ± 1.91 s) completed both WATER and LAND warm-ups prior to a 100m race, in a randomised cross-over design. WATER consisted of 2100m of drills at various intensities, taking approximately 30 minutes to complete, and followed by a 20-minute call-room wait. LAND consisted of a time-matched programme of dynamic mobility exercises, pulse-raisers, and muscle activation exercises, again followed by a 20-minute call-room wait. Race time, stroke rate (SR) and distance per stroke (DPS) were obtained from race video analysis; heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded before and after the warm-up and race. Paired T-tests were performed to test for significant differences between conditions. RESULTS: Race time was faster after WATER than LAND (58.10 ± 4.39 s vs. 59.00 ± 4.04 s, p = 0.001, Cohen’s d ES 0.2), there were no significant differences in SR or DPS. HR was higher after WATER than LAND (153 ± 14 bpm vs. 140 ± 21 bpm, p = 0.024, Cohen’s d ES 0.7); RPE was lower after WATER than LAND (median RPE 13 vs. 15, p = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: The land-based warm-up was not sufficient to prepare swimmers for a 100 m freestyle race; this may be due to the lower physiological intensity (as determined by HR), or perhaps the absence of ‘water feel’ (not measured). Further work should investigate the effect of a combined water and land warm-up to more closely replicate the call-room scenario.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: F-39 Free Communication/Poster - Training Techniques Friday, June 3, 2016, 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall A/B
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Health and Well-being > Department of Sport
Identification Number:
Page Range: p. 944
Depositing User: Ciara O'Hagan
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2018 13:02
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 16:45

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