Swimmers wishing to improve their performance need to get out of the water and into the laboratory, says a mechanical engineer at Staffordshire University. Laura Plant has devised a revolutionary apparatus requiring participants to "swim" while lying on a bench in the laboratory with their hands in paddles linked to a monitor.
"While speed and breathing rate can easily be measured when a swimmer is in action in the pool there are no reliable methods of monitoring their stroke technique," Ms Plant said.
"Assessment of their technique could be crucial. The results generate a 3D measurement of the stroke allowing us to assess total performance of work rate, power, velocity and technique. British swimmers could soon be strokes ahead of the rest."