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Effects of Glossopharyngeal Pistoning for Lung Insufflation in Elite Swimmers

NYGREN-BONNIER, MALIN1,2; GULLSTRAND, LENNART3,4; KLEFBECK, BRITA1,2; LINDHOLM, PETER5

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2007 - Volume 39 - Issue 5 - p 836-841
doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e31803191c1
BASIC SCIENCES: Original Investigations

Purpose: To investigate whether sessions of glossopharyngeal pistoning (GP) to lung volumes exceeding maximum inspiratory capacity in a group of extremely well-trained elite swimmers would affect maximum lung volumes and buoyancies.

Methods: Ten female and 16 male swimmers performed GP four times a week for 5 wk in addition to their regular swimming training program. Pulmonary function, chest expansion, hydrostatic weights (maximally inhaled and exhaled), and body composition (relative amounts of fat, bone, muscle, and fat-free tissue) were measured.

Results: Training compliance was 79% for the males and 82% for the females. Chest expansion increased significantly during the training period, by 1.0 cm and by 0.8 cm at the level of the xiphiod and the fourth costae for the males, and by 0.6 cm and 0.8 cm for the females. The buoyancy lifting force increased significantly by 0.17 and 0.37 kg for the males and the females, respectively. The females also increased their vital capacity significantly by 2%. No significant changes in body composition took place in either group.

Conclusion: The lung volumes and buoyancies of swimmers can be increased by sessions of GP.

1Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Neurobiology, Care Science and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, SWEDEN; 2Department of Physical Therapy, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, SWEDEN; 3Elite Sports Center, Swedish Sports Confederation, Lidingö, SWEDEN; 4Section of Exercise Physiology, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, SWEDEN; 5Section of Environmental Physiology, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, SWEDEN

Address for correspondence: Malin Nygren-Bonnier, PT, MSc, Department of Neurobiology, Care Science and Society, Karolinska Institutet 23 100, SE-141 83 Huddinge, Sweden; E-mail: malin.nygren-bonnier@karolinska.se.

Submitted for publication April 2006.

Accepted for publication December 2006.

©2007The American College of Sports Medicine