Tuesday, March 6, 2007



Swimming is generally considered one of the most complete forms of exercise. Because it works the majority of the muscles in the body and provides both aerobic benefits and resistance benefits. It is a valuable activity for physical therapy and exercise.

Swimming differs in several important respects from walking or running, For one thing, Swimmers must expend energy to, maintain buoyancy while at the same time, generate horizontal movement using the arms & legs, either in combination or separately other differences include the energy requirements for over coming drag forces that impede the movement of an object through water medium. The amount of drag depends on the characteristics of the medium & object's size, shape & velocity. So it requires about 4 times more energy to swim a given distance than to run the same distance.

Swimming does not strain joints and connective tissue as much as many other forms of exercise, Athletes in other sports who are recovering from injuries often swim to stay in shape.


Women of all ages posses, on average, more total body fat than men. Because fat floats and muscle and bone sink, the average woman gains a hydrodynamic lift and floats more easily then the average male. So, women swim a give distance at a lower energy cost than men i.e., women achieve a higher swimming velocity than men for the same level of energy expenditure.

The distribution of body fat towards the periphery in women causes their legs to float higher in water whereas men's leaner legs tend to swim down in the water lowering the legs to a deeper position Increases body drag & then reduces swimming economy.

Predicting Maximum Heart rate for Swimmers

HRmax in beats per min (bpm) can be predicted by age, independent of gender and physical activity status. For non fat men & women.

HRmax = 208 - (0.7x(Age,y)

For swimmers, HRmax average about 13bpm lower than in running. The smaller arm muscle mass activated during swimming probably causes this difference.

No comments: