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Influence of Different Breathing Frequencies on the Severity of Inspiratory Muscle Fatigue Induced by High-Intensity Front Crawl Swimming

Jakovljevic, Djordje G1; McConnell, Alison K2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 1169-1174
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318199d707
Original Research

Jakovljevic, DG and McConnell, AK. Influence of different breathing frequencies on the severity of inspiratory muscle fatigue induced by high-intensity front crawl swimming. J Strength Cond Res 23(4): 1169-1174, 2009-The aim of the present study was to assess the influence of 2 different breathing frequencies on the magnitude of inspiratory muscle fatigue after high-intensity front crawl swimming. The influence of different breathing frequencies on postexercise blood lactate ([La]) and heart rate (HR) was also examined. Ten collegiate swimmers performed 2 × 200-m front crawl swims at 90% of race pace with the following breathing frequencies: 1) 1 breath every second stroke (B2), and 2) 1 breath every fourth stroke (B4). Maximal inspiratory pressure (PImax) was measured at the mouth from residual volume before (baseline) and after swimming, in a standing position. The HR and [La] were assessed at rest and immediately at the cessation of swimming. The PImax decreased by 21% after B4 and by 11% after B2 compared with baseline (p < 0.05). The [La] was lower by 15% after B4 than after B2 (p < 0.05). The HR was not significantly different between B2 and B4. These data suggest that there is significant global inspiratory muscle fatigue after high-intensity swimming. Inspiratory muscle fatigue is, however, greater when breathing frequency is reduced during high-intensity front crawl swimming. Respiratory muscle training should be used to improve respiratory muscle strength and endurance in swimmers.

1Research Centre for Health Studies, Buckinghamshire New University, Chalfont Campus, Chalfont St Giles, United Kingdom; and 2Centre for Sports Medicine & Human Performance, Brunel University, Uxbridge, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Djordje G. Jakovljevic,

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association