Int J Sports Med 1992; 13(4): 298-303
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1021270
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Bioenergetic Characteristics of Swimmers Determined during an Arm-Ergometer Test and during Swimming

P. Obert1 , G. Falgairette1 , M. Bedu2 , J. Coudert2
  • 1Laboratoire de la Performance motrice, UFRSTAPS, Université Blaise Pascal, BP 104,63170 Aubière, Clermont-Ferrand
  • 2Laboratoire de Physiologie, Faculté de médecine, Université de Clermont-Ferrand I, BP 38,63001 Clermont-Ferrand
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Publication History

Publication Date:
14 March 2008 (online)


The maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max) of 13 swimmers was determined by an arm-ergometer test (direct method) and estimated from a maximal multistage swimming test (indirect method) (23). A test-retest of the progressive swimming exercise showed that there were no significant differences from one test to the other and that there were significant correlations between the principal Parameters: arm stroke index: 0.73, maximal aerobic swimming velocity: 0.94, V̇O2max: 0.95, p < 0.01. Therefore, for swimmers of average ability, the reproducibility of this test has been proved. A significant difference (p < 0.001) was observed between the two tests for V̇O2max: arm-ergometer test (V̇O2max arms): 2.4 + 0.5 1·min-1, swimming test (V̇O2max ST): 3.2 + 0.7 l·min-1, p < 0.01. This difference appeared to be linked to the use of a greater muscle mass (arms and legs) during swimming. A significant correlation (r = 0.73, p < 0.01) was obtained between V̇O2max (1·min-1) by using both the direct and indirect exercises as methods of measurement. However, the level of r did not permit the prediction of one parameter from the other. Significant correlations were obtained between V̇O2max and Performances over 200 and 400 m free style regardless of the methodology used (V̇O2max arm, V̇O2max ST). Moreover, only V̇O2max (arm, ST) emerged as a variable accounting for swimming Performance from a step-wise multiple regression analysis, in which biometric and bioenergetic parameters were taken into account.