Special Issue "Health, Training and Performance in Aquatic Activities and Exercises"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Matteo Cortesi
E-Mail Website
Chief Guest Editor
Department for Life Quality Studies, Rimini, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Interests: swimming biomechanics; performance in water exercise; energetics of human locomotion in water; key determinants of aquatic sports activities; aquatic human locomotion; training and testing in aquatic activities
Dr. Sandro Bartolomei
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna,Italy
Interests: resistance training; strength and power assessments; resistance training periodization; recovery; endocrine responses to resistance exercise; muscle morphology; training for muscle hypertrophy and maximal strength; field hockey
Dr. Giorgio Gatta
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department for Life Quality Studies, Rimini, University of Bologna,40132 Bologna, Italy
Interests: swimming biomechanics; performance in water exercise; energetics of human locomotion in water; key determinants of aquatic sports activities; aquatic human locomotion; training and testing in aquatic activities
Dr. Tomohiro Gonjo
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Physical Performance, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway
Interests: Biomechanics, performance analysis, efficiency, paralympic sports and motor control in aquatic locomotion with a particular interest in swimming

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Movement in water is often more accessible and less painful than on land. Aquatic exercise is a useful strategy when people find land-based exercise more difficult or impossible. Movement in water also offers essential resources for training and is a helpful tool in relation to sports rehabilitation. In contrast to aquatic exercise, the term “aquatic activities” involves also the concept of human performance in a water environment. Any motor activities performed in water as efficient and fast as possible are called aquatic activities. Both water exercise and aquatic activities employ the fundamentals of hydrostatics and hydrodynamics to produce unique characteristics that promote health and improve performance through exercise in water. Adaptation to the water environment is the key factor in the preparation process of practitioners and athletes acting in water. The maximization and optimization of human performance in aquatic activities and exercise are therefore the results of technical skill, strength, and endurance improvements.

The aquatic sciences research community is dedicated to advancing the knowledge of human aquatic professionals and has become specialized in order to update the state of the art on this topic. It is necessary to support and to increase our knowledge on topics primarily concerned with the effect on health of training in aquatic activities, sports, and water exercise. This Special Issue aims to attract papers focused on motor activities performed in the aquatic environment for purposes that may be functional, health-related, therapeutic, recreational, competitive, or non-competitive. We also encourage the submission of new highlights in aquatic equipment and technology, or innovative ideas concerning the aquatic research domain.

Dr. Matteo Cortesi
Dr. Sandro Bartolomei
Dr. Tomohiro Gonjo
Dr. Giorgio Gatta
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • aquatic activities
  • aquatic rehabilitation
  • recovery
  • training
  • strength and conditioning
  • swimming skills
  • performance
  • testing
  • biomechanics

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Aerobic Continuous and Interval Training under Hypoxia Enhances Endurance Exercise Performance with Hemodynamic and Autonomic Nervous System Function in Amateur Male Swimmers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3944; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083944 - 09 Apr 2021
Viewed by 335
Abstract
Hypoxic training is often performed by competitive swimmers to enhance their performance in normoxia. However, the beneficial effects of aerobic continuous and interval training under hypoxia on hemodynamic function, autonomic nervous system (ANS) function, and endurance exercise performance remain controversial. Here we investigated [...] Read more.
Hypoxic training is often performed by competitive swimmers to enhance their performance in normoxia. However, the beneficial effects of aerobic continuous and interval training under hypoxia on hemodynamic function, autonomic nervous system (ANS) function, and endurance exercise performance remain controversial. Here we investigated whether six weeks of aerobic continuous and interval training under hypoxia can improve hematological parameters, hemodynamic function, ANS function, and endurance exercise performance versus normoxia in amateur male swimmers. Twenty amateur male swimmers were equally assigned to the hypoxic training group or normoxic training group and evaluated before and after six weeks of training. Aerobic continuous and interval training in the hypoxia showed a more significantly improved hemodynamic function (heart rate, −653.4 vs. −353.7 beats/30 min; oxygen uptake, −62.45 vs. −16.22 mL/kg/30 min; stroke volume index, 197.66 vs. 52.32 mL/30 min) during submaximal exercise, ANS function (root mean square of successive differences, 10.15 vs. 3.32 ms; total power, 0.72 vs. 0.20 ms2; low-frequency/high-frequency ratio, −0.173 vs. 0.054), and endurance exercise performance (maximal oxygen uptake, 5.57 vs. 2.26 mL/kg/min; 400-m time trial record, −20.41 vs. −7.91 s) than in the normoxia. These indicate that hypoxic training composed of aerobic continuous and interval exercise improves the endurance exercise performance of amateur male swimmers with better hemodynamic function and ANS function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Training and Performance in Aquatic Activities and Exercises)
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Open AccessArticle
Key Performance Indicators Related to Strength, Endurance, Flexibility, Anthropometrics, and Swimming Performance for Competitive Aquatic Lifesaving
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3454; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073454 - 26 Mar 2021
Viewed by 710
Abstract
The aim of the study was to investigate key performance indicators for the individual pool-based disciplines of competitive lifesaving regarding strength, flexibility, sprint and endurance swimming performance, anthropometric characteristics, and technical skills specific to competitive lifesaving. Data were collected from Swiss national team [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to investigate key performance indicators for the individual pool-based disciplines of competitive lifesaving regarding strength, flexibility, sprint and endurance swimming performance, anthropometric characteristics, and technical skills specific to competitive lifesaving. Data were collected from Swiss national team members (seven males: age 19 ± 2 yrs, body mass 77 ± 11 kg, body height 177 ± 7 cm and seven females age 21 ± 5 yrs, body mass 64 ± 6 kg, body height 171 ± 4 cm) competing at the 2019 European lifesaving championships. Potential key performance indicators were assessed with race times derived from the 2019 long-course season using Spearman’s correlation coefficient. Large and significant correlations showed that sprint, i.e., 50 m freestyle performance (r ≥ 0.770), was related to race time of all pool-based disciplines, rather than endurance swimming performance. Additionally, significant correlations revealed upper body strength, i.e., bench press (r ≥ −0.644) and pull (r ≥ −0.697), and leg strength (r ≥ −0.627) as key performance indicators. Importance of the lifesaving-specific skills, anthropometric characteristics, and core strength varied between the disciplines. Flexibility was not significantly related to race times of competitive lifesaving. The present study showed that sprint swimming performance, upper body, and leg strength are particularly important for competitive lifesaving. As other physical and technical requirements varied between the pool-based disciplines, coaches may use the present key performance indicators to establish training guidelines and conditioning programs as well as prioritize skill acquisition in training to specifically prepare athletes for their main disciplines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Training and Performance in Aquatic Activities and Exercises)
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparison between Elite Swimmers and Kayakers on Upper Body Push and Pull Strength and Power Performance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8301; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228301 - 10 Nov 2020
Viewed by 662
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to compare the load-power curve expressed at bench press (PR) and prone bench pull (PU) between elite swimmers and kayakers. Another aim was to calculate the strength and power PR/PU ratio in the same populations. Fifteen [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to compare the load-power curve expressed at bench press (PR) and prone bench pull (PU) between elite swimmers and kayakers. Another aim was to calculate the strength and power PR/PU ratio in the same populations. Fifteen elite swimmers (SW: age = 23.8 ± 2.9 y; body mass = 82.8 ± 5.6 kg; body height = 184.1 ± 4.6 cm) and 13 elite kayakers (KA: age = 23.8 ± 2.9 y; body mass = 91.0 ± 3.5 kg; body height = 180.1 ± 5.4 cm) were assessed for PR 1RM and PU 1RM. They were then assessed for power produced at 40, 60 and 80% of 1RM in both PR and PU. The area under the load-power curve (AUC) and PR/PU ratios were calculated for both the SW and KA groups. The KA group showed significantly higher PR1RM (+18.2%; p = 0.002) and PU1RM (+25.7%; p < 0.001) compared to the SW group. Significant group differences were also detected for PUAUC (p < 0.001) and for the PR/PU power ratio (p < 0.001). No significant group differences were detected for PRAUC (p = 0.605) and for the PR/PU strength ratio (p = 0.065; 0.87 and 0.82 in SW and KA, respectively). The present findings indicate that elite KA were stronger and more powerful than elite SW in the upper body. Not consistently with other athletic populations, both KA and SW athletes were stronger and more powerful in upper body pull compared to push moves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Training and Performance in Aquatic Activities and Exercises)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Key Factors Related to Short Course 100 m Breaststroke Performance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6257; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176257 - 27 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 753
Abstract
Background and aim: To identify kinematic variables related to short course 100 m breaststroke performance. Methods: An automatic race analysis system was utilized to obtain start (0–15 m), turn (5 m before the wall until 10 m out), finish (95–100 m), and clean [...] Read more.
Background and aim: To identify kinematic variables related to short course 100 m breaststroke performance. Methods: An automatic race analysis system was utilized to obtain start (0–15 m), turn (5 m before the wall until 10 m out), finish (95–100 m), and clean swimming (the rest of the race) segment times as well as cycle rate and cycle length during each swimming cycle from 15 male swimmers during a 100 m breaststroke race. A bivariate correlation and a partial correlation were employed to assess the relationship between each variable and swimming time. Results: Turns were the largest time contributor to the finishing time (44.30 ± 0.58%), followed by clean swimming (38.93 ± 0.50%), start (11.39 ± 0.22%), and finish (5.36 ± 0.18%). The finishing time was correlated (p < 0.001) with start segment time (r = 0.979), clean swimming time (r = 0.940), and 10 m turn-out time (r = 0.829). The clean swimming time was associated with the finishing time, but cycle rate and cycle length were not. In both start and turns, the peak velocity (i.e., take-off and push-off velocity) and the transition velocity were related to the segment time (r ≤ −0.673, p ≤ 0.006). Conclusions: Breaststroke training should focus on: (I) 15 m start with generating high take-off velocity, (II) improving clean swimming velocity by finding an optimal balance between cycle length and rate, (III) 10 m turn-out with maintaining a strong wall push-off, and (IV) establishing a high transition velocity from underwater to surface swimming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Training and Performance in Aquatic Activities and Exercises)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Bioimpedance Vector Patterns Changes in Response to Swimming Training: An Ecological Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4851; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134851 - 06 Jul 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 809
Abstract
Background and aim: Monitoring bioelectric phase angle (PhA) provides important information on the health and the condition of the athlete. Together with the vector length, PhA constitutes the bioimpedance vector analysis (BIVA) patterns, and their joint interpretation exceeds the limits of the evaluation [...] Read more.
Background and aim: Monitoring bioelectric phase angle (PhA) provides important information on the health and the condition of the athlete. Together with the vector length, PhA constitutes the bioimpedance vector analysis (BIVA) patterns, and their joint interpretation exceeds the limits of the evaluation of the PhA alone. The present investigation aimed to monitor changes in the BIVA patterns during a training macrocycle in swimmers, trying to ascertain if these parameters are sensitive to training load changes across a 13-week training period. Methods: Twelve national and international level swimmers (four females; eight males; 20.9 ± 1.9 years; with a competitive swimming background of 11.3 ± 1.8 years; undertaking 16–20 h of pool training and 4–5 h of dry-land training per week and 822.0 ± 59.0 International Swimming Federation (FINA) points) were evaluated for resistance (R) and reactance (Xc) using a single frequency phase sensitive bioimpedance device at the beginning of the macrocycle (M1), just before the beginning of the taper period (M2), and just before the main competition of the macrocycle (M3). At the three-time assessment points, swimmers also performed a 50 m all-out first stroke sprint with track start (T50 m) while time was recorded. Results: The results of the Hotelling T2 test showed a significant vector displacement due to simultaneous R and Xc changes (p < 0.001), where shifting from top to bottom along the major axis of the R-Xc graph from M1 to M2 was observed. From M2 to M3, a vector displacement up and left along the minor axis of the tolerance ellipses resulted in an increase in PhA (p < 0.01). The results suggest a gain in fluid with a decrease in cellular density from M1 to M2 due to decrements in R and Xc. Nevertheless, the reduced training load characterizing taper seemed to allow for an increase in PhA and, most importantly, an increase of Xc, thus demonstrating improved cellular health and physical condition, which was concomitant with a significant increase in the T50 m performance (p < 0.01). Conclusions: PhA, obtained by bioelectrical R and Xc, can be useful in monitoring the condition of swimmers preparing for competition. Monitoring BIVA patterns allows for an ecological approach to the swimmers’ health and condition assessment without resorting to equations to predict the related body composition variables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Training and Performance in Aquatic Activities and Exercises)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Race Analysis in Competitive Swimming: A Narrative Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010069 - 24 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1106
Abstract
Researchers have quantified swimming races for several decades to provide objective information on race strategy and characteristics. The purpose of the present review was to summarize knowledge established in the literature and current issues in swimming race analysis. A systematic search of the [...] Read more.
Researchers have quantified swimming races for several decades to provide objective information on race strategy and characteristics. The purpose of the present review was to summarize knowledge established in the literature and current issues in swimming race analysis. A systematic search of the literature for the current narrative review was conducted in September 2020 using Web of Science, SPORTDiscus (via EBSCO), and PubMed. After examining 321 studies, 22 articles were included in the current review. Most studies divided the race into the start, clean swimming, turn, and/or finish segments; however, the definition of each segment varied, especially for the turn. Ideal definitions for the start and turn-out seemed to differ depending on the stroke styles and swimmers’ level. Many studies have focused on either 100 m or 200 m events with the four strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle). Contrastingly, there were few or no studies for 50 m, long-distance, individual medley, and relay events. The number of studies examining races for short course, junior and Paralympic swimmers were also very limited. Future studies should focus on those with limited evidence as well as race analysis outside competitions in which detailed kinematic and physiological analyses are possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Training and Performance in Aquatic Activities and Exercises)
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