"For a comparative study between swimming in swimwear (control-sw) and swimming in clothes (clothes-sw), oxygen uptake (VO2) and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured. The subjects were six male members of a university swimming team. Three swimming strokes--the breaststroke, the front crawl stroke and the elementary backstroke--were applied. With regards to clothes-sw, swimmers wore T-shirts, sportswear (shirt and pants) over swimwear and running shoes. In both cases of control-sw and clothes-sw, the VO2 was increased exponentially with increased swimming speed. The VO2 of the subjects during the clothed tests did not exceed 1.4 times of that in the case of control-sw at swimming speeds below 0.3 m/s. As swimming speeds increased, VO2 difference in both cases increased. Consequently, VO2 in the clothed tests was equal to 1.5-1.6 times and 1.5-1.8 times of that in the swimwear tests at speeds of 0.5 and 0.7 m/s, respectively. At speeds below 0.6 m/s in clothes-sw, the breaststroke showed lower VO2 than the front crawl stroke, and the elementary backstroke showed higher VO2 than the other two swimming strokes. RPE increased linearly with %peak VO2. In addition, any RPE differences among the three swimming strokes were not shown in the control-sw tests. At an exercise intensity above 60 %peak VO2, clothed swimmers showed slightly higher RPE in the front crawl stroke compared to that in the two other swimming strokes."
Effect of wearing clothes on oxygen uptake and ratings of perceived exertion while swimming.
Photo: flickr/ Kevin N. Murphy
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