Effects of swimming start block slope and height on swimming start performance

Ödek, Uğur
The purpose of the present study was to examine effects of slope and height of starting block on swimming start performance. Total 6 six competitive swimmers (Mage = 17.9years, SD = 1.18; MBW = 82.65kg, SD = 1.38; Mheight = 180.83cm, SD = 2.93) participated in this study. 3-dimensional motion analysis and 2-dimensional dynamic data analysis techniques used to evaluate block phase of swimming start. Kinematic and kinetic data obtained by using four different block settings. Multiple two-way within subject ANOVAs conducted to investigate main and interaction effects of block slope and block hight on kinetic and kinematic variables. Results indicated that, center of mass distance to the front edge, movement and block times, maximum horizontal force, average and maximum vertical forces, vertical impulse, take-off vertical velocity were significantly affected by block slope. In conclusion, results of this study indicates that block slope is the primary determinant of variations in block phase and substantially affects vertical components. On the other hand, horizontal impulse and horizontal take-off velocity, which are accepted as decisive variables of block phase remained unchanged. This study provides evidence of how block settings can affect swimming start performance.