Ape Index Swimming – UPDATED 2021 – A Complete Guide
Do you know those people who have a really long arm span? Well, the science behind this is called an ape index. It is calculated by how many inches your arms span for every inch of height you are.
Measuring your ape index swimming score can help you find out what type of events suit you based on your score. It was originally used to measure bipedalism in apes but now has expanded into humans and has become a measuring tool for sports such as swimming, climbing, and martial arts.
When it comes to swimming, the length of your arms compared to your height can play a major role in performance. So what does this mean for the swimmer? Read on to learn more about the ape index swimming calculation.
Ape Index In Swimming – A Complete Guide
Since swimming largely revolves around arm movement, so there is no denying that arm length can play a part in your performance.
Ape index in swimming is an easy way to estimate (based on your results) what distance suits you best. While this is not always true there have been many studies that a positive index score relates to sprint events of 200 meters or less. While a negative index means you are more likely to excel in endurance swims.
So how do we calculate ape index in swimming?
To find your score, minus your height from your arm span length. The result will give you a figure that is either positive, neutral, or negative.
Once you have calculated your score, what does this mean in swimming terms?
A negative ape index means that you won’t travel as far in the water with each stroke as someone with a positive index which is due to the length of your reach in the water. However, because of this, someone with a negative index will typically have a faster turnover. This makes them suitable for longer events where are faster and shorter stroke rate is needed. So in theory this will suit middle distance and long distance triathletes.
Alternatively, if you have a positive index you most likely going to suit shorter events. Swimming sprint events such as 200m are known to suit swimmers with longer arms or a positive index.
With longer arms swimmers are able to cover more distance in the water per stroke. While this may all sound positive, the shoulder will have to work harder than swimmers with shorter arms, making shoulder strength a major key with these types of swimmers.
Michael Phelps is well known to have a positive score, which could be the reason he sticks to the shorter events.
While your index results may give you an advantage or not, training is still the most important aspect of progressing in swimming. So whether you have a positive, negative, or neutral result the training you do will most likely outway the benefits of a high index score.
Ape Index Calculator & Measurement
Ape index measurement is calculated in two ways. Either by dividing your arm span by your height or subtracting your height from your arm span.
It is common that most people’s arm span is equal to their height. This means that most people’s results will be neutral or an index ratio of 1.
Luckily to save you some time, there are some calculators that do the work for you. Simply enter in your height and arm span to find your index. Some of these calculators can be found below.
Once you know your results it may help you decide what type of swimming events you should target. However, remember this is not the be-all and end all of swimming. There are many swimmers that full outside of these parameters.
Highest Ape Index – UPDATED 2021
Olympic swimmers and professional basketball players are some of the people that tend to have the highest index ape index. Michael Phelps has been measured at 1.06 with an arm span of 12cm and BeeJay Anya holds the highest score of any basketballer, producing a whopping +12 index.
Other sports such as MMA also have some above-average scores like Sergei Pavlovich who has an index of 9.
On average, men have been shown to have slightly longer arms compared to their height than women. So it makes sense that the highest scores are held by men.
While most of us are likely to have a neutral score, either way calculating your score can help give you a better idea of what sport may suit you.
How To Increase Ape Index?
Unfortunately, like many things we are born with there is no way you can increase your score. However, when it comes to swimming looking at your current training methods can help you make up the difference.