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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 September;59(9):1503-12

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.09100-4


lingua: Inglese

Laboratory-based ergometry for swimmers: a systematic review

Matteo CORTESI 1 , Giorgio GATTA 1, Ian SWAINE 2, Paola ZAMPARO 3, Maria KONSTANTAKI 4

1 Department for Life Quality Studies, Rimini Campus, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; 2 Department of Life and Sports Sciences, University of Greenwich, Greenwich, UK; 3 Department of Neurological and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy; 4 Department of Applied Health and Exercise Sciences, Buckinghamshire New University, High Wycombe, UK

INTRODUCTION: The first widely-available dry-land training machines for swimmers were introduced about 40 years ago. They were designed so that swimmers could perform resistance exercise whilst more-closely replicating the movements of swimming, than when using other gymnasium-based resistance training machines. These machines were subsequently adapted and used as measurement tools (ergometers) in an array swimming research study. This narrative review categorizes and summarizes what has been shown by the research studies that have utilized this laboratory-based ergometry.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A search was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science, ScienceDirect and Scopus (1970-2018) and relevant publications were included. Publications were grouped into 4 main areas of research: 1) physiological responses to exercise; 2) functional evaluation of swimmers; 3) monitoring of training; 4) muscular work output of swimmers.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Significant differences were showed between swim bench exercise and real swimming, especially in regard to the muscles involved. The difficulties of accurate reproduction of the movements and coordinated dynamic actions of swimming have not been overcome. Nevertheless, the literature shows that the use of these devices has provided a valuable contribution to swimming physiology, while overcoming difficulties presented by attempting to make physiological measurements in the water.
CONCLUSIONS: In spite of its limitations, laboratory-based ergometry has allowed a valuable contribution to the understanding of the physiology, effects of training and efficiency of swimming.

KEY WORDS: Swimming; Athletic performance; Exercise; Resistance training

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