The Impact of Fatigue on Swimming Mechanics


Our prior posts on swimming have focused on the benefits of strength training and race pacing during a swim event.  Conversely, fatigue is one of the factors shown to reduce swim performance and stroke mechanics.  This change in mechanics places a swimmer at a greater risk of shoulder overuse injuries including impingement and tendonitis.  A recent article highlighted the impact of fatigue on many performance variables including stroke mechanics.

Mathews and colleagues studied 17 national level swimmers (PT in Sport. 2016).  Athletes were tested before and after a fatiguing workout (8 x 100 m) in the pool.  The authors noted blood work values including glucose and lactate confirmed fatigue in the swimmers.  As the swimmers fatigued detrimental changes were noted in their stroke mechanics as well as joint position sense.  This article reinforces prior research on the impact of fatigue on stroke mechanics and the potential mechanisms of injury among swimmers.