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Mechanical, Physical, and Physiological Analysis of Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Combat

Clemente-Suárez, Vicente J.1; Robles-Pérez, José J.2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 9 - p 2420–2426
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31828055e9
Original Research

Suárez, VJC and Pérez, JJR. Mechanical, physical, and physiological analysis of symmetrical and asymmetrical combat. J Strength Cond Res 27(9): 2420–2426, 2013—In current theaters of operation, soldiers had to face a different situation as symmetrical (defined battlefield) and asymmetrical combat (non-defined battlefield), especially in urban areas. The mechanical and organic responses of soldiers in these combats are poorly studied in specific literature. This research aimed to analyze physical, mechanical, and physiological parameters during symmetrical and asymmetrical combat simulations. We analyzed 20 soldiers from the Spanish Army and Spanish Forces and Security Corps (34.5 ± 4.2 years; 176.4 ± 8.4 cm; 74.6 ± 8.7 kg; 63.3 ± 8.0 kg muscular mass; 7.6 ± 3.2 kg fat mass) during a symmetric combat (traditional combat simulation) and during an asymmetrical combat (urban combat simulation). Heart rate (HR), speed, sprints, distances, impact, and body load parameters were measured by a GPS system and a HR belt. Results showed many differences between symmetrical and asymmetrical combat. Asymmetrical combat presented higher maximum velocity movement, number of sprints, sprint distance, and average HR. By contrary, symmetric combat presented higher number of impact and body load. This information could be used to improve specific training programs for each type of combat.

1Department of Physical Activity and Sport Science, Sport Science Faculty, University of Castilla la Mancha, Toledo, Spain

2Department of Close Combat and Self Defense, Military Sports Area, Central School of Physical Education of the Army, Toledo, Spain

Address correspondence to Vicente J.C. Suárez,

Copyright © 2013 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.