Bang goes that theory!

Apr 29, 2011
Dr. Ian Swaine and Dr. Yan in the 'Bang goes the theory studios.'

An academic from Canterbury Christ Church University has disproved the theory 'you need water to swim' on a prime time television show.

Dr. Ian Swaine, a Reader in Sport and Science in the Department of Sport Science, Tourism and Leisure, has invented, and built a whole-body, front-crawl, swimming training machine which can be used as a land-training aid for improving the strength and fitness of swimmers and triathletes.

Last month Dr. Swaine took his dry-land swimming training machine along to television studios to prove to Dr. Yan, from the BBC One program, ‘Bang goes the theory’, that the water isn’t a necessity when swimming. And you can see the results this Monday (May 2) on BBC One at 7.30pm.

Dr. Swaine said:”It was a great opportunity for the swimming training machine to appear on national television.

“I am a former competitive swimmer and have been interested in developing dry-land swimming machine to test the mechanical efficiency of swimming, for years. It isn’t possible to get an accurate measure of this in the water, because the water ‘moves away’ when the limbs apply forces. So, I realized that the only way to find out how efficient swimmers are is by creating a machine. This particular machine has had two prototypes built, over the last 15 years. It’s fantastic to finally be able to show it to people and prove my theory that dry-land training for swimming is not only possible, but also helpful in understanding how efficient swimmers are”

The machine involves four resistance air-dynes, which are driven by the arms and legs, using pulley ropes. It also involves a freely-moving suspended ‘body cradle’ in which the swimmers lay down, allowing the body to roll, as it does in water. The swimmer places their hands into ‘hand paddles’ and their feet into ‘foot plates’ to drive the air-dynes. The leg air-dynes are driven in the ‘down’ and ‘up’ phases of the kicking action for each leg in exactly the same way as in the water.

The power being generated at each air-dyne is monitored by ‘sensors’ and fed into a computer where it is displayed as ‘individual limb power output’ for the swimmer. Power output can then be used to calculate mechanical efficiency. Also, each air-dyne can be operated independently and therefore this machine is suitable for use by paraplegics or amputees.

The data collected so far using the machine has been used in research on the efficiency of and  how they  adapt to different training practices, some of which has been already been presented at various conferences. Last year Dr. Swaine presented work he has done using this unique machine in Oslo (Sweden), Indianapolis (USA) and Verona (Italy).

Explore further: Scientists trial system to improve safety at sea

Provided by Canterbury Christ Church University

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Virtual swimmer to speed up athletes

Mar 30, 2006

CSIRO and the Australian Institute of Sport are using mathematics in a bid to speed up our top swimmers by testing changes to swimming strokes. The research will make use of the same software CSIRO uses for other fluid simulations ...

Modern society made up of all types

Nov 04, 2010

Modern society has an intense interest in classifying people into ‘types’, according to a University of Melbourne Cultural Historian, leading to potentially catastrophic life-changing outcomes for those typed – ...

Breathing is secret weapon in sports performance: study

Apr 11, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A ‘secret weapon’ used by a minority of sportsmen and women and which could make the difference between winning and losing at sport has been revealed by a scientist at the University of Portsmouth.

Groundwater threat to rivers worse than suspected

Nov 02, 2010

Excessive groundwater development represents a greater threat to nearby rivers and streams during dry periods (low flows) than previously thought, according to research released today by CSIRO.

Recommended for you

Scientists trial system to improve safety at sea

Jan 30, 2015

A space scientist at the University of Leicester, in collaboration with the New Zealand Defence Technology Agency and DMC International Imaging, has been trialling a concept for using satellite imagery to ...

Skin device uses motion to power electronics

Jan 29, 2015

Can a skin patch power wearables? Skin-based generators have become an area of focus among researchers working on how to scavenge muscle motion whereby skin becomes a charge-collector. A detailed report in ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Slapnoodles
5 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2011
Oslo is not in Sweden. It is rather the capital of Norway.
rgwalther
not rated yet Apr 29, 2011
Roman Moroni deported to Sweden complains to press, "but I'm not from there!"

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.