Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Relationships between glide efficiency and swimmers’ size and shape characteristics

Naemi, Roozbeh; Psycharakis, Stelios; McCabe, Carla; Connaboy, Chris; Sanders, Ross


Roozbeh Naemi

Stelios Psycharakis

Carla McCabe

Chris Connaboy

Ross Sanders


Glide efficiency, the ability of a body to minimise deceleration over the glide, can vary with variations in the body's size and shape. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between glide efficiency and the size and shape characteristics of swimmers. Eight male and eight female swimmers performed a series of horizontal glides at a depth of 70cm below the surface. Glide efficiency parameters were calculated for velocities ranging from 1.4 to 1.6 m/s for female swimmers (at the Reynolds number of 3.5 million) and from 1.6 to 1.8 m/s for male swimmers (at the Reynolds number of 4.5 million). Several morphological indices were calculated to account for the shape characteristics, with the use of a photogrammetric method. Relationships between the variables of interest were explored with correlations, while repeated measures ANOVA was used to assess within-group differences between different velocities for each gender group. Glide efficiency of swimmers increased when velocity decreased. Some morphological indices and postural angles showed a significant correlation with glide efficiency. The glide coefficient was significantly correlated to the chest to waist taper index for both gender groups. For the male group, the glide coefficient correlated significantly to the fineness ratio of upper body, the chest to hip cross-section, and the hip and knee. For the female group the glide coefficient had a significant correlation with the waist to hip taper index. The findings suggested that gliding efficiency was more dependent on shape characteristics and appropriate postural angles rather than on size characteristics


Naemi, R., Psycharakis, S., McCabe, C., Connaboy, C., & Sanders, R. (2012). Relationships between glide efficiency and swimmers’ size and shape characteristics. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 28, 400-411

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2012-08
Deposit Date May 11, 2012
Print ISSN 1065-8483
Electronic ISSN 1543-2688
Publisher Human Kinetics
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Pages 400-411
Keywords Glide factor; glide coefficient; glide constant; anthropometry; morphological indices;
Public URL