Swimming in aquatic environments

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Swimmers exercise in a unique environment. The increased hydrostatic pressure of water compared with air, coupled with the horizontal body position and periods of breath holding, affect physiological and biomechanical responses to swimming. This chapter focuses on the practical considerations for conducting physiological testing of swimmers in aquatic environments. Swimming tests can be undertaken in indoor and outdoor swimming pools and flumes, rivers, lakes and seas. Testing in an indoor swimming pool or flume will give the practitioner more control and extend the range of physiological measurements available; however, it might also reduce the ecological validity of measurements. Stroke rate, stroke length, velocity, critical velocity and best effort performance tests provide useful information about swimming performance. Basic stroke characteristics and performance variables and their calculations can be found within the supplementary material. Practitioners must consider a number of factors before conducting physiological assessments in aquatic environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSport and Exercise Physiology Testing Guidelines: Volume 1 – Sport Testing
Subtitle of host publicationThe British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Guide
EditorsR. C. Richard Davison, Paul M. Smith, James Hopker, Michael J. Price, Florentina Hettinga, Gary Tew, Lyndsey Bottoms
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978100304528
ISBN (Print)9780367492465, 9780367491338
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2022


  • swimming
  • physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Swimming in aquatic environments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this