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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 Apr 06

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10335-9

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

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 3, 7, 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 CIEQV - the Life Quality Research Centre, Santarém, Portugal; 4 Department of Sports Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Portugal; 5 Health Sciences Research Centre (CICS-UBI), Portugal; 6 University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal; 7 Sport Sciences School of Rio Maior, Rio Maior, Portugal


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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 programme 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 programme 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 (7.5m, 5.0m, and 2.5m). 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 4x100m freestyle competition before and after the application of the training programme.
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: Temporal occlusion; Visual perception; Relay event; Exchange block time; Swimming

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