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Scientific Research—Thermal Imaging Camera Detects Skin Temperature Changes in The Muscle Area of Trained Swimmers

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Thermal Imaging Camera Detects Skin Temperature Changes in The Muscle Area of Trained Swimmers

   A very good method to measure individual muscle activity is electromyography. This method provides information on electric muscular activity which is prior to metabolic activity itself. In recent years, results of electromyographical studies have been published on muscular activity during swimming. Scientific articles on thermal changes as a result of swimming in water are rare.

   Researchers observed four professional swimmers after a 500-meter free style swim in water of 23.5 °C. They described the temperature changes in one swimmer. The swimmer used in turns all four swimming styles. Each for 1 minute and there were 10-minute breaks between them. They defined the temperature of large body segments and they did not evaluate the areas corresponding to particular muscles. For example, dorsal arm included dorsal deltoid muscles and triceps. We want to help with solution measuring and show metabolic activities in progress and muscles groups on swimming. For measuring our dates, we have used infrared thermograpy. Our aim was to detect changes in infrared radiation, overloaded structures of the musculoskeletal system at the main part of the shoulder girdle and upper body with the help of elite swimmers. Than find out if there is some new thermally interesting areas before and after training in local area or hole muscle. Purpose is to find if thermograph can find or prevent injury of movement musculoskeletal system. Healthy is key to the top athlets.


Figure 1. Thermograms of front side and back side.

   Over group consisted of seven Czech national swimmers of Kometa Brno. The group are 5 men and 2 women, from 20 to 34 years old. They had 11 weeks of training in water and 3 units of dry land. Training in water is around 50-70km per week. It is around 2000 km per year. They are specializing in freestyle for long (5-25 km) and short distance (50 m, 100 m).

   We chose one swimmer for a complete analysis of measurement. He is 24 years old, 183 cm high and 76 kg weight. His main style is free-style in open water. Mains discipline is 5 km and 10k m. He is Czech national swimmer and he was at European and World championships.


Figure 2. Thermograms of right side and left side.

   Training was in water in the swimming pool. First measurement was done before training and second 15 minutes after training in water in the swimming pool. There was temperature of water 27°C. One unit was 2 hour long and measuring was done regulary in training since 6 to 8 in the morning. Before first measuring was the body 15 minutes nude a after training the swimmer has use the towel and sit for 15 minutes in the pool. Athletes participated in monitoring during six months. Measurements were made from January to June. Every athlete went through 13 measurements. We have 104 pictures of one swimmer. Every measurement contains four positions. Front and back side, right and left side. We have analysed all temperatures only of one swimmer. Here was significant increased temperature after swimming only in deltoideus anterior at right side (from 33.4 ± 1.02°C to 34.0 ± 0.69°C). The other temperature was significant decreased: muscles groups of pectoralis major and minor (right side from 33.6 ± 0.92 to 33.1 ± 0.61°C; left side from 33.8 ± 0.82 to 33.1 ± 0.69°C), latissimus dorsi and erector spinae pars lumbalis at both sides together.


Figure 3. Skin with water at front and back side after training.

   We got results by measuring only one person. Five of twenty muscle regions have notable tendencies of increased temperatures, including a front part of deltoideus at right side which is very active by spreading arm forward and beginning of swimming stroke. In nine areas of main agonist swimmers movement forward included – triceps brachii, we have find out only no significant lowering temperatures. That because cooling of the swimmer in the water. We haven’t found any source or areas showing injury or damage muscle system.


SILVIE RYBÁŘOVÁ , JAN NOVOTNÝ. Skin temperature changes of muscle regions in training swimmers. 9th INSHS International Christmas Sport Scientific Conference, 4-6 December 2014. International Network of Sport and Health Science. Szombathely, Hungary.


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