Home > Journals > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness > Past Issues > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 July;60(7) > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 July;60(7):957-64



Publishing options
To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian


Publication history
Cite this article as



The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 July;60(7):957-64

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10335-9


language: English

Occlusion technique in swimming: a training method to improve exchange block time in swimming relays

Ana CONCEIÇÃO 1, 2, 3 , Aldo M. COSTA 2, 4, 5, António J. SILVA 2, 6, Pedro SOBREIRO 1, 3, Hugo LOURO 1, 2

1 Sport Sciences School of Rio Maior, Rio Maior, Portugal; 2 Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health and Human Development, Vila Real, Portugal; 3 The Life Quality Research Center (CIEQV), Santarém, Portugal; 4 Department of Sports Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal; 5 Health Sciences Research Center (CICS-UBI), Covilhã, Portugal; 6 University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

BACKGROUND: Swimming relay events have the concern regarding a good start is shared between the incoming and outgoing swimmers. The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in exchange block time (EBT) for swimming relay events as a result of a four-week training program using the occlusion technique.
METHODS: Twenty-eight national swimmers, 12 males (age: 17±1.83 years) and 16 females (age: 19.94±5.65 years) participated in this study. Subjects were required to undergo a training program on visual perception in relay swimming over the course of four weeks; they watched videos corresponding to the last movements of a swimmer during a 4×100m freestyle relay event. The videos were presented with temporal occlusion corresponding to predetermined approaching distances (7.5 m, 5.0 m, and 2.5 m). Swimmers were required to simulate a typical position for exiting the block and to estimate the time-to-contact of the incoming swimmer. The EBT was collected during a real 4×100-m freestyle competition before and after the application of the training program.
RESULTS: Female swimmers showed a decreased in EBT, with an improvement of 1.42%, despite there not being a significant difference (P=0.68). The male swimmers had a higher improvement in EBT after the training, with a decrease of 13.34% (P=0.68).
CONCLUSIONS: Visual perception practice using video occlusion techniques seems to have a positive effect. On EBT in swimming relay events, particularly in female swimmers.

KEY WORDS: Visual perception; Swimming; Athletic performance; Athletes

top of page