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J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Feb;24(2):507-16. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c06a0e.

Different profiles of the aerial start phase in front crawl.

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CETAPS (EA 3832), University of Rouen, Mont Saint Aignan, France.


This study analyzed the kinematics and kinetics (jumping ability) of the aerial start phase in 11 elite front crawl sprinters. The aim was to determine whether a particular start technique leads to a short 15 m start time or whether several start profiles contribute equally well. All swimmers performed 3 starts using their preferential style, which was the grab start for all, followed by a 25-m swim at maximal velocity. Countermovement jump enabled to determine vertical jumping ability. Using a video device, phase durations, angles at takeoff and entry, and hip velocity were assessed. Correlation between all variables and the 15 m start time established the common features of an effective start but also revealed great intersubject variability. Cluster analysis enabled to distinguish 4 start profiles (flat, pike, flight, and Volkov), indicating that several individual profiles lead to short 15 m start times. It could be advised to consider the intersubject variability in relation to start time before favoring unique strategy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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