Juergens, C. A., Rose, D. J., Smith, G. A., & Calder, C. A. (1999). A kinetic and kinematic comparison of the grab and track starts in competitive swimming. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), Supplement abstract 616.

Kinetic and kinematic aspects of the grab and track swimming starts were compared. Female varsity swimmers (N = 10), who used both starts in competitions, performed three randomly ordered trials of each technique.

The track start was significantly lower in vertical impulse, higher in average horizontal force, lower in average vertical force, shorter in time on the blocks, and lower in average vertical velocity. These differences support the contention that the track start is a better starting technique.

Since Ss had practiced both forms of starting, this is the first investigation where skill level has been controlled. Its findings are more reliable than most other studies on the topic.

Implication. The track start is superior to the grab start.

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