A comparison of shoulder muscular performance and lean mass between elite and recreational swimmers: Implications for talent identification and development

Arthur T.H. CHEUNG, Wai Wing Ada MA, Shirley S.M. FONG, Ming Yan CHUNG, Young-Hyeon BAE, Karen P.Y. LIU, Wai Keung Kevin KAM, Wai Yee Joanne CHUNG

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Abstract

This study compared the shoulder muscular performance and lean mass between elite and recreational swimmers. Thirty elite swimmers (mean age ± standard deviation = 23.1 ± 3.5 years) and 21 recreational swimmers (mean age ± standard deviation = 20.8 ± 2.1 years) participated in the study. Maximum muscle strength and time to maximum muscle strength of shoulder flexor, extensor, abductor, and adductor muscles were measured using a handheld dynamometer. Lean mass of the arms and body (excluding the head) were measured using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Results revealed that compared with recreational swimmers, elite swimmers had higher maximum muscle strength of the shoulder flexor, extensor, abductor, and adductor muscles (all P < .001). The time to reach maximum muscle strength of all shoulder muscles showed no significant difference between the 2 groups (P > .05). The lean mass values in the left arm (P = .037), right arm (P < .001), and whole body (P = .014) were higher in elite swimmers than recreational swimmers. Elite swimmers had greater shoulder maximum muscle strength compared with recreational swimmers though the time taken to reach maximum muscle strength was similar between the 2 groups. Elite swimmers also showed a higher lean mass in both arms and their entire body when compared with recreational swimmers. The results may be useful for recreational swimmers who intend to advance to professional level, and for talent identification and early development of elite swimmers. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.
LanguageEnglish
Article numbere13258
JournalMedicine
Volume97
Issue number47
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

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Aptitude
Muscle Strength
Arm
Muscles
Head
X-Rays
Health

Citation

Cheung, A. T. H., Ma, A. W. W., Fong, S. S. M., Chung, L. M. Y., Bae, Y.-H., Liu, K. P. Y., . . . Chung, J. W. Y. (2018). A comparison of shoulder muscular performance and lean mass between elite and recreational swimmers: Implications for talent identification and development. Medicine, 97(47). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000013258

Keywords

  • Amateur swimmers
  • Muscle mass
  • Professional swimmers
  • Strength