The aim of the study was to investigate whether jerk cost (JC) can discriminate between swimming levels. Nine elite and nine non-elite swimmers swam a 50-m front-crawl sprint wearing a 3D accelerometer on their back between the inferior angles of the scapulae. Lap times and JC were calculated from the acceleration signal and compared between groups and between swimmers within a group. The elite swimmers swam significantly faster lap times than the non-elite swimmers (p < 0.001). They did so with significantly lower levels of JC compared to the non-elite swimmers (p = 0.005). Furthermore, a stepwise multiple linear regression showed JC accounted for 32.9% of the variation in lap time of the elite swimmers. These results indicate that it is possible to discriminate elite from non-elite swimmers using JC: elite swimmers swim with lower JCs than non-elite swimmers. Additionally, swimming at higher speed is associated with more accelerations and decelerations in both elite and non-elite swimmers, which is reflected by higher JCs and lower smoothness. In sum, JC provides an index of swimming technique that is easy to use in training practice.
- daily monitoring