Factors that Limit Performance

Analyzing Hand Force in Swimming: Three Typical Limiting Factors
Rod Havriluk, Ph.D.
American Swimming Magazine, 2006(3), 14-18.
Limiting factors can be identified in the force curves of even the world’s fastest swimmers. Three common limiting factors are bilateral differences, force losses, and wasted motion. These limiting factors are generally undetectable with naked eye observation. Even with the aid of underwater video, the impact of these factors on performance is unknown. Synchronized video and force data make it possible to determine exactly where technique limitations occur, the magnitude of the effect, and most importantly, the movements responsible.
Once a limiting factor is detected, a change in technique can be addressed. Changes in hand path, pitch, and/or speed may be appropriate. These changes can be directed at minimizing the bilateral differences, force losses, and wasted motion, resulting in a higher average hand force. Because of the relationship of hand force and swimming velocity, faster swimming will result.

Swimming Hand Force Analysis

Butterfly hand force analysis