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Relationship Between Isokinetic Strength, Flexibility, and Flutter Kicking Speed in Female Collegiate Swimmers

Mookerjee Swapan; Bibi, Khalid W.; Kenney, Gregory A.; Cohen, Lee
The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 1995
Article: PDF Only

ABSTRACTThe 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · sec−1 in order for the dynamometer to mimic limb angular velocities recorded during actual flutter kicking performance.

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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · sec−1 in order for the dynamometer to mimic limb angular velocities recorded during actual flutter kicking performance.

© 1995 National Strength and Conditioning Association