Handgrip Strength Predicts 100-meter Performance?
Many possible predictors of performance exist. In swimming, it is commonly accepted stroke biomechanics are the largest influence for swimming success. However, a recent study from Portugal correlated grip strength with swimming performance in all the competitive strokes over the 100- and 200-m distance. This study found a significant correlation between 100-meter freestyle performance and handgrip strength in female swimmers. These results found no other significant correlations in the other strokes or distances. Also, the results found no correlations between men and handgrip strength.
This study probes an interesting theory and further implies out of water strength is minimally associated with swimming success in most of the competitive strokes and distance (all except the 100-meter free). Despite the surprising correlation with the 100-meter free, this specific event makes sense, as sprint events typically require less than ideal stroke biomechanics. However, women are typically associated with a higher reliance on biomechanics, opposing this studies findings.
Further research must assess sprint events over a larger post-pubescent population.
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- Garrido ND, Silva AJ, Fernandes RJ, Barbosa TM, Costa AM, Marinho DA, Marques MC. High level swimming performance and its relation to non-specific parameters: a cross-sectional study on maximum handgrip isometric strength. Percept Mot Skills. 2012 Jun;114(3):936-48.