McLean, S. P., Vint, P. F., Beckett, K. D., Hinrichs, R. N., & Holthe, M. J. (2000). Kinematics of step-through swimming starts. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32(5), Supplement abstract 911.

Male collegiate swimmers (N = 10) performed two maximal effort trials of a conventional relay start (CAS) and three forms of the step-through relay start (single step beginning with feet staggered (SSS), single step beginning with feet together (SST), and double-step (DS)). Trials were performed in random order.

No differences in horizontal velocities were found between the forms of start. DS and SST had greater vertical velocities than CS, but not SSS, and CS and SSS were not different. Flight distance was greater for DS, SSS, and SST, than CS. Entry angles were similar for DS, SSS, and CS but SST was steeper. No difference was found in time to 5 m. However, DS and SSA had shorter times to 10 m than the other two forms.

Implication. Double-step and single-step staggered relay starts offer a performance advantage over conventional and single-step feet-together starts.

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