Efficacy of Inspiratory Muscle Training on Elite Swimmers (PEAK)

This study is a randomized controlled trial. Firstly it will look at the efficacy of inspiratory muscle training using POWERbreathe. Furthermore it will asses the swimming performance, airway dysfunction and perceived breathlessness in the elite swimmers recruited for the trial. Finally the trial will recruit participants from the elite competitive Futebol Clube do Porto swimming team.

Intervention used in swimming trial

    • POWERbreathe IMT

ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03062735

Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Efficacy of Inspiratory Muscle Training on Swimming Performance, Airway Dysfunction and Perceived Breathlessness in Elite Swimmers >

Are athletes more susceptible to airway dysfunction?

The Study

Environmental influence on the prevalence and pattern of airway dysfunction in elite athletes‘. The purpose of this study recently published in ‘Respirology’ was to evaluate the prevalence of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), often known as exercise-induced asthma, in elite Great British (GB) boxers and swimmers. This study was the first to screen the entire elite Great British (GB) Swimming and Boxing teams using a eucapnic voluntary hyperpnoea (EVH) challenge. Findings from the study support the notion that athletes who train and compete in provocative environments at sustained high ventilation have an increased susceptibility to airway dysfunction. Conclusion: “The prevalence of EIB was ninefold greater in swimmers when compared with boxers. Athletes who train and compete in provocative environments at sustained high ventilation may have an increased susceptibility to EIB. It is not entirely clear whether increased susceptibility to EIB affects elite sporting performance and long-term airway health in elite athletes.” In scientific tests, Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) has been shown to decrease dyspnea, increase inspiratory muscle strength, and improve exercise capacity in asthmatic individuals. POWERbreathe IMT is scientifically proven, effective, low-cost and a drug-free adjunct to traditional asthma treatments and can be used as part of an athlete’s daily training to reduce symptoms. Supportive Study Effect of Inspiratory Muscle Training on Exercise Tolerance in Asthmatic Individuals concluded that, “IMT attenuates inspiratory muscle fatigue, reduces the perception of dyspnea, and increases exercise tolerance. These findings suggest that IMT may be a helpful adjunct to asthma management that has the potential to improve participation and adherence to exercise training in this group.”

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Respiratory Muscle Specific Warm-Up And Elite Swimming Performance

“Inspiratory muscle training has been shown to improve performance in elite swimmers, when used as part of routine training, but its use as a respiratory warm-up has yet to be investigated. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of inspiratory muscle exercise (IME) as a respiratory muscle warm-up in a randomised controlled cross-over trial.”

Conclusion:

“Using IME combined with a standard swimming warm-up significantly improves 100 m freestyle swimming performance in elite swimmers.”

Read Respiratory muscle specific warm-up and elite swimming performance >

Alterations In Maximal Inspiratory Mouth Pressure During A 400m Maximum Effort Front-Crawl Swimming Trial

“The aim of this study was to examine the changes of maximal inspiratory mouth pressure (PImax) during a 400-m front crawl swimming trial.”

Conclusion:

“Results indicated that during a maximum effort of 400-m front crawl, the reduction of inspiratory muscle strength occurs after 300-m. This should be considered for competitive swimming training by implementing swim race distance-specific respiratory muscle training.”

Read Alterations in maximal inspiratory mouth pressure during a 400-m maximum effort front-crawl swimming trial >

Inspiratory Muscle Fatigue In Swimmers After A Single 200m Swim

“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.”

Conclusion:

“Results indicate that a single 200m 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.”

Read Inspiratory muscle fatigue in swimmers after a single 200m swim >

Influence Of Different Breathing Frequencies On Severity Of Inspiratory Muscle Fatigue Induced By High-Intensity Front Crawl Swimming

“The aim of this study was to assess the influence of two different breathing frequencies on the magnitude of inspiratory muscle fatigue after high-intensity front crawl swimming.”

Conclusion:

“Data suggested that there is significant global inspiratory muscle fatigue after high-intensity swimming. Inspiratory muscle fatigue is, however, greater when breathing frequency is reduced during high-intensity front crawl swimming. Respiratory muscle training should be used to improve respiratory muscle strength and endurance in swimmers.”

Read Influence of different breathing frequencies on the severity of inspiratory muscle fatigue induced by high-intensity front crawl swimming >

The Impact Of Swimming Speed On Respiratory Muscle Fatigue During Front Crawl Swimming

“The Critical velocity (Vcrit) represents a holistic swimming fatigue threshold and critical stroke rate is thought to coincide with Vcrit. Whether Vcrit, and in-turn critical stroke rate, also represent an inspiratory muscle fatigue threshold is not known.”

Conclusion:

“The study provided data demonstrating that inspiratory muscle fatigue is correlated with relative but not absolute front crawl swimming velocity, and stroke rate. Whilst this finding is obvious and to be expected, the novel aspect is that the study was able to determine the relative velocity associated with the development of inspiratory muscle fatigue. Specifically, inspiratory muscle fatigue occurred when swimming at (in some) and above (in all) Vcrit and when stroke rate was at (in some) or above (in all) 92% of critical stroke rate in both male and female adolescent swimmers.”

Read The impact of swimming speed on respiratory muscle fatigue during front crawl swimming: a role for critical velocity? >

SwimForTri Tips for Improved Swim Performance 

SwimForTri is a swim technique and coaching organisation with a tremendous reputation in the world of swimming and triathlon, run by brother and sister team, Dan and Keeley Bullock.

Dan is a competitive swimmer and has been integrating POWERbreathe training into his swim training sessions and here he has devised a specific swimming POWERbreathe training protocol that can be integrated poolside.

Read SwimForTri Tips for Improved Swimming Performance >

Inspiratory Muscle Training Improves 100 and 200m Swimming Performance

“Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) has been shown to improve time trial performance in competitive athletes across a range of sports. Surprisingly, however, the effect of specific IMT on surface swimming performance remains un-investigated.”

Conclusion:

“6 weeks of IMT has a small positive effect on swimming performance in club-level trained swimmers in events shorter than 400m.”

Read Inspiratory muscle training improves 100 and 200 m swimming performance >

400-Meter and 800-Meter Track Running Induces Inspiratory Muscle Fatigue In Trained Female Middle-Distance Runners

“Inspiratory muscle fatigue (IMF) may limit exercise performance. A few studies have reported that IMF occurs after short-duration swimming exercise, but whether short-duration running can induce IMF remains unclear.”

Conclusion:

“IMF occurs after short-duration running exercise. Coaches could consider prescribing inspiratory muscle training or warm-up in an effort to reduce the inevitable IMF associated with maximal effort running.”

Read 400-meter and 800-meter track running induces inspiratory muscle fatigue in trained female middle-distance runners >