Current warm-up practices and contemporary issues faced by elite swimming coaches.


A better understanding of current swimming warm-up strategies is needed to improve their effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to describe current pre-competition warm-up practices and identify contemporary issues faced by elite swimming coaches during competition. Forty-six state-international level swimming coaches provided information via a questionnaire on their prescription of volume, intensity and recovery within their pool and dryland-based competition warm-ups, and challenges faced during the final stages of event preparation. Coaches identified four key objectives of the pre-competition warm-up: physiological (elevate body temperature/muscle activation), kinesthetic (tactile preparation, increase "feel" of the water), tactical (race-pace rehearsal) and mental (improve focus, reduce anxiety). Pool warm-up volume ranged from ~1300-2100 m, beginning with 400-1000 m of continuous, low-intensity (~50-70% of perceived maximal exertion) swimming, followed by 200-600 m of stroke drills and 1-2 sets (100-400 m in length) of increasing intensity (~60-90%) swimming, concluding with 3-4 race or near race-pace efforts (25-100 m; ~90-100%) and 100-400 m easy swimming. Dryland-based warm-up exercises, involving stretch cords and skipping, were also commonly prescribed. Coaches preferred swimmers complete their warm-up 20-30 min prior to race start. Lengthy marshalling periods (15-20+ min) and the time required to don racing suits (>10 min) were identified as complicating issues. Coaches believed the pool warm-up affords athletes the opportunity to gain a tactile "feel" for the water and surrounding pool environment. The combination of dryland-based activation exercises followed by pool-based warm-up routines appears to be the preferred approach taken by elite swimming coaches preparing their athletes for competition.

Copyright (C) 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association. 


Autor / Fonte:Courtney J McGowan, David B Pyne, John S Raglin, Kevin G Thompson, Ben Rattray Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2016 April 14