Biophysical evaluation of swimmers


Biophysical evaluation of swimmers: a follow-up throughout a training season.

Knowing more about the athletes and their athletic potential requires organized, systematic and consistent evaluation. The evaluation and training control of swimmers give the coach information about the athlete’s improvement, stagnation, or deterioration.

Assessments addressing both biological and physical aspects are usually called biophysical studies. Biophysical approach allows a deeper understanding of the determinant variables in swimming and how they interplay to enhance performance. However, few biophysical studies were carried out, and almost all of them were performed trough cross-sectional design. Although this approach is relevant, it is not sufficient to describe the specific kinetics of the determinant variables in swimming and the interplay between them throughout a training period. Moreover, practical reliable protocols are necessary, as a large number of swimmers are required for statistical consistency of the results.

Thus, we aim to follow-up swimmers throughout one training season through a biophysical approach. This follow-up will consider anthropometrical, biomechanical, maturational and physiological domains, and how they interact regarding swimmer’s performance.



1. R. Zacca, B. Wenzel, J. Piccin, N. Marcilio, A. Lopes, and F. de Souza Castro, “Critical velocity, anaerobic distance capacity, maximal instantaneous velocity and aerobic inertia in sprint and endurance young swimmers,” European Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 110, pp. 121-131, 2010/09/01 2010.

2. R. Zacca, R. J. Fernandes, D. B. Pyne, and F. A. de S. Castro, “Swimming training assessment: the critical velocity and the 400 m test for age-group swimmers,” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, vol. Publish Ahead of Print.

3. Zacca, R., Lopes, A. L., Teixeira, B. C., Silva, L. M., Matos, C. C., & Castro, F. A. S. (2014). Lactate peak in youth swimmers: quantity and time interval for measurement after 50–1500 maximal efforts in front crawl. In B. Mason (Ed.), XII International Symposium on Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming Proceedings (pp. 536-541). Canberra, Australia: Australian Institute of Sports (AIS).

4. Zacca, R., More, F. C., Castro, C. D., Franken, M, & Castro, F. A. S. (2014). Stroke rate and stroke length profile when swimming at critical velocity assessed by a four-parameter model In XII International Symposium on Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming – Abstracts Handbook (p. 191-193). Canberra, Australia: Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

5. Zacca, R., Castro, F. A. S., & Fernandes, R. J. (2014). Poderá a velocidade crítica ser obtida com apenas um teste máximo de 400 m crol? Comunicação oral ao XXXVII Congresso Técnico Cientifico APTN, Associação Portuguesa de Técnicos de Natação e Federação Portuguesa de Natação, Maia, Portugal.


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BEX 1626/13-2/2013-2017