Original Hypothesis: By applying physics/biomechanics equations to different strokes we will be able to find the most efficient stroke techniques, thus, decreasing the swimmers' times.
While working on our project, we found this article in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine:
Although the title may make this project at first seem simple, it actually included a detailed, 9 page research report, written by 7 professors from Portugal, all with PhD (doctorate) degrees. They also determined formulas such as this:
We soon realized that applying the necessary number of these complex formulas to determine the overall "perfect stroke" technique was far too complex to complete during a 6 month period, having the limited knowledge of two high school juniors. (Who have never taken a formal calculus or a physics class) Although, throughout the process of completing this project, we did teach ourselves a considerable amount in both subjects.
With this in mind, we decided to take a different approach. We applied the principles, along with demonstrations of these techniques, to make estimations of the most efficient stroke techniques. Although this is not as specific as application of all of the formulas, which are still being debated by scientists and researchers, it provides basic justification of stroke techniques.
Revised Hypothesis: By combining and applying basic principles of fluid motion, stroke technique, and previous research in the application of physics/biomechanics equations, we can estimate the most efficient stroke techniques for general use.
(The difference between these hypotheses is that the principles are based more upon previously determined research in fluid dynamics (hydrodynamics) and physics, as opposed to equations, which provide more mathematical accuracy.)
Why is this research important for competitive swimming?
What we covered in our research:
This video shows one type of 2D underwater motion analysis software that researchers use to view basic movements in swimming. Programs like this allow them to analyze the swimmer's kick movements, and to estimate the efficiency of each individualized movement.