Holthe, M. J., & McLean, S. P. (2000). Effect of step-length in the step-through swimming relay start. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32(5), Supplement abstract 1049.

Male collegiate swimmers (N = 10) performed two maximal effort trials for three styles of step-through relay starts at a freely chosen (FC -- largest step possible) and restricted step-length (RS -- one half of FC) in a random order. The three step-through starts were: single-step with feet staggered (SSS), single-step with feet together (SST), and double-step (DS). The trials with the greatest resultant velocity at take-off were selected for analysis.

RS starts had a slower horizontal velocity component than the FC starts, but there were no differences in the vertical velocity component, flight distance, entry angle, trunk orientation, or time to 5 meters. Time to 10 meters was longer for the RS start.

Implication. Restricting the step length in step-through relay starts had a minor negative effect upon performance.

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