A battery of strength tests for evidence-based classification in Para swimming

Journal article


Hogarth, Luke, Nicholson, Vaughan, Spathis, Jemima, Tweedy, Sean, Beckman, Emma, Connick, Mark, van de Vliet, Peter, Payton, Carl and Burkett, Brendan. (2019). A battery of strength tests for evidence-based classification in Para swimming. Journal of Sports Sciences. 37(4), pp. 404-413. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2018.1504606
AuthorsHogarth, Luke, Nicholson, Vaughan, Spathis, Jemima, Tweedy, Sean, Beckman, Emma, Connick, Mark, van de Vliet, Peter, Payton, Carl and Burkett, Brendan
Abstract

This study examined the validity of isometric strength tests for evidence-based classification in Para swimming. Thirty non-disabled participants and forty-two Para swimmers with physical impairment completed an isometric strength test battery designed to explain activity limitation in the freestyle discipline. Measures pertaining to dominant and non-dominant limb strength and symmetry were derived from four strength tests that were found to be reliable in a cohort of non-disabled participants (ICC = 0.85–0.97; CV = 6.4–9.1%). Para swimmers had lower scores in strength tests compared with non-disabled participants (d = 0.14–1.00) and the strength test battery successfully classified 95% of Para swimmers with physical impairment using random forest algorithm. Most of the strength measures had low to moderate correlations (r = 0.32 to 0.53; p ≤ 0.05) with maximal freestyle swim speed in Para swimmers. Although, fewer correlations were found when Para swimmers with hypertonia or impaired muscle power were analysed independently, highlighting the impairment-specific nature of activity limitation in Para swimming. Collectively, the strength test battery has utility in Para swimming classification to infer loss of strength in Para swimmers, guide minimum eligibility criteria, and to define the impact that strength impairment has on Para swimming performance.

Keywordsdisability; Paralympics; cerebral palsy; spinal cord injury; validity; reliability
Year2019
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Journal citation37 (4), pp. 404-413
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN0264-0414
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2018.1504606
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85050920250
Open accessPublished as green open access
Page range404-413
FunderInternational Paralympic Committee (IPC)
UK Sport
Exercise and Sports Science Australia
University of the Sunshine Coast
Research GroupSchool of Allied Health
Author's accepted manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online30 Jul 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted22 Jul 2018
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