Perceived exertion, time of immersion and physiological correlates in synchronized swimming

L Rodríguez-Zamora, X Iglesias, A Barrero, D Chaverri, A Irurtia, P Erola, F A Rodríguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the relationship between ratings of perceived exertion (RPE, CR-10), heart rate (HR), peak blood lactate (La peak), and immersion (IM) parameters in 17 elite synchronized swimmers performing 30 solo and duet routines during competition. All were video recorded (50 Hz) and an observational instrument was used to time the IM phases. Differences in the measured variables were tested using a linear mixed-effects model. RPE was 7.7 ± 1.1 and did not differ among routines, and neither did any of the HR parameters. There were differences among routines in La peak (F3,7=16.5; P=0.002), number of IM (F3,15=14.0; P<0.001), total time immersed (F3,16=26.6; P<0.001), percentage of time immersed (F3,13=6.5; P=0.007) and number of IM longer than 10 s (F3,19=3.0; P=0.04). RPE correlated positively to HR pre-activation, range of variation and recovery, IM parameters and La peak, and inversely to minimum and mean HR. A hierarchical multiple linear regression (MLR) model (number of IM >10 s, HR recovery, minimum HR, and La peak) explained 62% RPE variance (adj. Rm 2=0.62; P<0.001). A stepwise MLR model (La peak, mean IM time and pre-exercise HR) explained 46% of performance variance (adj. Rm 2=0.46; P<0.001). Findings highlight the psycho-physical stress imposed by the combination of intense dynamic exercise with repeated and prolonged apnea intervals during SS events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-11
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Breath Holding
  • Heart Rate/physiology
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid/blood
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Oxygen Consumption/physiology
  • Perception
  • Physical Exertion/physiology
  • Swimming/physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Video Recording
  • Young Adult


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