Pulmonary oxygen uptake (V̇O2) kinetics have been well studied during land-based exercise. However, less is known about V̇O2 kinetics during swimming exercise and comparisons between strokes is non-existent. We aimed to characterise and compare the V̇O2 kinetics, ventilatory and metabolic response to constant velocity moderate-intensity freely breathing front crawl (FC) and breaststroke (BR) swimming in a swimming flume. These two strokes reflect predominantly upper body vs lower body modes of swimming locomotion, respectively. Eight trained swimmers (4 females, 20 ± 1 years, 1.74 ± 0.06 m; 66.8 ± 6.3 kg) attended 5-6 laboratory-based swimming sessions. The first two trials determined FC and BR V̇O2max and the ventilatory threshold (VT), respectively, during progressive intensity swimming to the limit of tolerance. Subsequent trials involved counterbalanced FC and BR transitions from prone floating to constant velocity moderate-intensity swimming at 80% of the velocity at VT (vVT), separated by 30-minutes recovery. Breath-by-breath changes in pulmonary gas exchange and ventilation were measured continuously using a snorkel and aquatic metabolic cart system. The ventilatory and metabolic responses were similar (p > 0.05) between strokes during maximal velocity swimming, however vVT and maximal velocity were slower (p < 0.05) during BR. During moderate-intensity swimming, V̇O2 kinetics, ventilatory and metabolic parameters were similar (p > 0.05) between strokes. In conclusion, when breathing ad libitum, V̇O2 kinetics during moderate-intensity constant velocity swimming, and ventilatory and metabolic responses during moderate-intensity and maximal velocity swimming, are similar between FC and BR strokes.
- muscle metabolism
- V̇O2 kinetics