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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 March;58(3):197-203

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06702-5

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Combined strength exercises on dry land and in the water to improve swimming parameters of athletes with paraplegia

Kestutis SKUCAS , Vaida POKVYTYTE

Adapted Physical Activity Lab, Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas, Lithuania


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BACKGROUND: The aim of the present research was to examine the effects of 12 weeks of combined dry land strength and resistance swimming training for increasing upper body strength, swimming performance and stroking parameters in swimmers with paraplegia and to determine correlation between these parameters.
METHODS: The preliminary, the second (after 4 weeks), the third (after 8 weeks) and the last (after 12 weeks) testing were performed. The measurements consisted of the following assessments: the assessment of isometric strength in dry land (tension force), the assessment of swimming performance and stroke parameters during 50-m backstroke, the assessment of strength during tethered swimming (tension force). Sixteen swimmers with paraplegia after complete spinal cord injury in thoracic and lumbar lesion participated in the investigation. Subjects with paraplegia represent the experimental and control groups. The participants of the experimental group had five training sessions per week, two hours per training session on dry land (two times per week) and in the water (three times per week). The subjects of the control group had five swimming training sessions per week for two hours each.
RESULTS: The strength, performance and stroke characteristics of the experimental group reveal differences among pre-test, after month, after two months and post-test values. The strength, performance and stroke characteristics of the control group did not change after a month, after two months and after the experiment. The coefficient of determination of the experimental group revealed a positive correlation (r2=0.67) between 50-m result and the number of strokes, between the force tension in water and in dry land (r2=0.5), between the number of strokes and the force tension in water (r2=0.53).
CONCLUSIONS: This study indicated that the swimmers with paraplegia involved in 12 weeks combined strength on dry land and resistance training in the water program improved strength, swimming performance and stroke parameters in comparison with swimmers training swimming alone. Isometric force in dry land and tethered swimming force in the water are good markers for strength of swimmers with paraplegia.


KEY WORDS: Swimming - Athletic performance - Disabled persons - Resistance training

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