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Inspiratory muscle fatigue in swimmers after a single 200 m swim

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Inspiratory muscle fatigue may occur in as little as 6 min during high-intensity spontaneously breathing exercise. The aims of this study were to determine whether inspiratory muscle fatigue occurs during swimming exercise and whether inspiratory muscle strength differs between the supine and standing body positions. Seven competitive swimmers were recruited to perform a single 200 m front-crawl swim, corresponding to 90-95% of race pace. Inspiratory muscle strength was measured at residual volume using a hand-held mouth pressure meter that measured maximal inspiratory pressure in the upright and supine positions. At baseline, maximal inspiratory pressure in the supine position was significantly lower than maximal inspiratory pressure in the upright position (112±20.4 and 133±16.7 cmH2O, respectively; P0.01). Post-exercise maximal inspiratory pressure in the supine position (80±15.7 cmH2O) was significantly lower than baseline maximal inspiratory pressure in the supine position (P0.01). The results indicate that a single 200 m front-crawl swim corresponding to 90-95% of race pace was sufficient to induce inspiratory muscle fatigue in less than 2.7 min. Furthermore, although diaphragm muscle length is optimized when supine, our results indicate that the force output of the diaphragm and inspiratory accessory muscles is greater when upright than when supine.
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Keywords: inspiratory muscle fatigue; maximal inspiratory pressure when supine; maximal inspiratory pressure when upright; trained swimmers

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 August 2003

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