University of Portsmouth researchers say swimmers should train breathing muscles to improve performance

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Elite swimmers could perform better in the pool by training the muscles used for breathing, according to new research.

Scientists at the University of Portsmouth have examined how muscle fatigue in the inspiratory muscles can affect overall performance.

They believe that by incorporating specific training of these muscles into their regime, swimmers could significantly improve their speed.

Swimmers are especially susceptible to inspiratory muscle fatigue (IMF) which causes the body to divert blood, oxygen and nutrients to the muscles responsible for breathing thus affecting their overall performance.

The research, carried out by Dr Mitch Loman and published in the International Journal of Swimming Kinetics, shows attempts by scientists to identify the speed associated with the development of IMF.

Dr Lomax examined how speed affected the extent of inspiratory muscle fatigue in swimmers.

“In swimming, most of the propulsion comes from the upper body but some of the muscles used for this are also required for breathing,” she said.

swimming

Image courtesy of Jim Bahn, CC BY 2.0

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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