The relationship between lower extremity isokinetic strength, flexibility, and flutter kicking speed was investigated in 12 female collegiate swimmers. Isokinetic peak torques were determined at 3 selected velocities: 2.88, 6.28, and 7.85 rad [middle dot] sec-1. Flexibility measurements included ankle plantar flexion and dorsiflexion as well as hamstring and lower back flexibility (sit and reach test). Flutter kicking times for 22.86 m (T1) and 45.72 m (T2) were obtained in a 22.86-m pool using a kickboard. Peak torque during knee extension at 6.28 rad [middle dot] sec-1 correlated significantly with T1 (r = 0.82) and T2 (r = 0.71). There appeared to be no relationship between ankle flexibility and flutter kicking speed in this group of subjects. The sit and reach data correlated significantly (r = 0.70) only with T2. Underwater film analysis on 6 subjects showed that mean (+/-SD) angular velocity at the knee during the downbeat phase of the kick was 6.47 (+/-1.13) rad [middle dot] sec-1. These results suggest that variables such as peak torque in the lower extremities play a significant role in flutter kicking performance. In addition, velocity-specific isokinetic testing of the knees should be done in excess of 6.00 rad [middle dot] sec-1 in order for the dynamometer to mimic limb angular velocities recorded during actual flutter kicking performance.
(C) 1995 National Strength and Conditioning Association