Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Urban Vitality

Active drag related to velocity in male and female swimmers

Abstract: Propulsive arm forces of 32 male and 9 female swimmers were measured during front crawl swimming using arms only, in a velocity range between 1.0 m s-1 and 1.8 m s-1. At constant velocity, the measured mean propulsive force Fp equals the mean active drag force (Fd). It was found that Fd is related to the swimming velocity v raised to the power 2.12 +/- 0.20 (males) or 2.28 +/- 0.35 (females).

Although many subjects showed rather constant values of Fd/v2, 12 subjects gave significantly (p less than 0.01) stronger or weaker quadratic relationships. Differences in drag force and coefficient of drag between males and females (drag: 28.9 +/- 5.1 N, 20.4 +/- 1.9 N, drag coefficient: 0.64 +/- 0.09, 0.54 +/- 0.07 respectively) are especially apparent at the lowest swimming velocity (1 m s-1), which become less at higher swimming velocities. Possible explanations for the deviation of the power of the velocity from the ideal quadratic dependency are discussed.

Referentie Toussaint, H. M., de Groot, G., Savelberg, H. H. C. M., Vervoorn, C., Hollander, A. P., & van Ingen Schenau, G. J. 'Active drag related to velocity in male and female swimmers'. In: Journal of Biomechanics, 21, 435-438, 1988.
Gepubliceerd door  Kenniscentrum Bewegen, Sport en Voeding 1 september 1988


sep 1988


Lector Huub Toussaint
Lector Cees Vervoorn