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XIIth International Symposium on Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming

Between stability and flexibility of expert arm–leg coordination in breaststroke swimming


01 May 2014


John Komar, University of Rouen, France


John Komar completed last June at the university of Rouen a PhD in motor learning, focusing on learning arm–leg coordination in breaststroke swimming using a non-linear pedagogical approach. He now holds a post-doctoral position at the University of Rouen aiming to model inter-limb coordination in swimming (freestyle and breaststroke) and the dynamics of learning these coordinations.


Analysis of arm–leg coordination in breaststroke swimming has shown that experts were able to dissociate arms and legs propulsive actions in order to achieve a streamlined position of one pair of limbs while the other pair propels (Seifert, et al. 2010). Authors therefore defined a functional role of intra-cyclic variability of arm–leg coordination for expert, when beginners were not able to exhibit this variability and then remained ineffective. In the meantime, a functional role of inter-cyclic variability of arm–leg coordination was revealed in adapting the coordination to different swimming speeds (Komar, et al. In press). In the present study, the aim was to investigate a potential functional role of stability of key points of arm–leg coordination in breaststroke (i.e. regarding different speed conditions and skill levels), therefore redefining expertise as a subtle blend between stability and flexibility.

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