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Respiratory muscle specific warm-up and elite swimming performance
  1. Emma E Wilson1,
  2. Tricia M McKeever2,
  3. Claire Lobb3,
  4. Tom Sherriff4,
  5. Luke Gupta4,
  6. Glenn Hearson1,
  7. Neil Martin5,
  8. Martin R Lindley4,
  9. Dominick E Shaw1
  1. 1Nottingham Respiratory Research Unit (NRRU), School of Medicine, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Medicine, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham, UK
  3. 3British Swimming, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK
  4. 4Department of Sports, Exercise and Health Science, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK
  5. 5Institute for Lung Health, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Dominick Shaw, Nottingham Respiratory Research Unit, Clinical Sciences Building, Nottingham City Hospital, Hucknall Road, Nottingham NG5 1PB, UK; dominic.shaw{at}nottingham.ac.uk

Abstract

Background Inspiratory muscle training has been shown to improve performance in elite swimmers, when used as part of routine training, but its use as a respiratory warm-up has yet to be investigated.

Aim To determine the influence of inspiratory muscle exercise (IME) as a respiratory muscle warm-up in a randomised controlled cross-over trial.

Methods A total of 15 elite swimmers were assigned to four different warm-up protocols and the effects of IME on 100 m freestyle swimming times were assessed.Each swimmer completed four different IME warm-up protocols across four separate study visits: swimming-only warm-up; swimming warm-up plus IME warm-up (2 sets of 30 breaths with a 40% maximum inspiratory mouth pressure load using the Powerbreathe inspiratory muscle trainer); swimming warm-up plus sham IME warm-up (2 sets of 30 breaths with a 15% maximum inspiratory mouth pressure load using the Powerbreathe inspiratory muscle trainer); and IME-only warm-up. Swimmers performed a series of physiological tests and scales of perception (rate of perceived exertion and dyspnoea) at three time points (pre warm-up, post warm-up and post time trial).

Results The combined standard swimming warm-up and IME warm-up were the fastest of the four protocols with a 100 m time of 57.05 s. This was significantly faster than the IME-only warm-up (mean difference=1.18 s, 95% CI 0.44 to 1.92, p<0.01) and the swim-only warm-up (mean difference=0.62 s, 95% CI 0.001 to 1.23, p=0.05).

Conclusions Using IME combined with a standard swimming warm-up significantly improves 100 m freestyle swimming performance in elite swimmers.

  • Swimming
  • Respiratory
  • Assessing Physical Training Modalities in Enhancing Sports Performance
  • Elite Performance

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