RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ANKLE FLEXIBILITY AND KICKING SPEED IN YOUTH SWIMMERS
Kate Stauffer1 ; 1Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, Missouri
When competing in a swim meet, the winner can be determined by hundredths of seconds. In a freestyle stroke swimmers wants to create maximum propulsion while minimizing drag. The flutter kick can increase a swimmers speed by aiding in forward propulsion and maintaining a streamline body position. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if sixteen weeks of ankle exercises would improve ankle mobility in young swimmers to affect twenty-five yard kicking times. Swimmers with more ankle mobility will have faster kick times than swimmers who have limited ankle mobility. METHODS: This study used stratified random sampling. Thirty competitive swimmers were randomly divided into experimental and control groups. Fifteen children were placed in the experimental group, and the other fifteen in the control group. A sixteen-week structured exercise program was implemented for the experimental group, while all participated in regular swim practices. There were a total of sixty-four exercise sessions targeting ankle mobility, and range of motion. Ankle mobility was measured by plantar flexion (pointing toes toward the ground) with a goniometer. Kicking speed was measured by the time to complete a twenty-five yard maximum flutter kick. Ankle mobility and kicking times were measured at the beginning of the sixteen weeks and then re-measured after the sixteen weeks. RESULTS: Four different correlations were calculated. The control group in the pre and post-test, showed there was no significant difference. The p-value for both was -0.73. This shows there was no change during the sixteen weeks. The experimental group in the pre-test showed there was no significant difference between. The p-value was -0.11. The post-test, showed there was a significant difference between ankle mobility and kicking speed with the p-value being -0.04 These correlations show that the experimental group improved in ankle mobility by having more ankle range of motion (ROM). I took average kicking times within the experimental group for both the pre and post-test. The pre-test average kicking speed was 38.42 seconds and post-test average kicking speed was 35.50 seconds. This shows that the experimental group improved on kicking speed time by implementing the weekly ankle exercises. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that ankle mobility affects swimmers kicking times. These results will be shared with swim teams. Implementing daily ankle exercises into workouts will help increase a swimmer's performance.
"RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ANKLE FLEXIBILITY AND KICKING SPEED IN YOUTH SWIMMERS,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 11:
7, Article 17.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol11/iss7/17