Different Profiles of the Aerial Start Phase in Front Crawl

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Seifert, L, Vantorre, J, Lemaitre, F, Chollet, D, Toussaint, HM, and Vilas-Boas, JP. Different profiles of the aerial start phase in front crawl. J Strength Cond Res 24(2): 507-516, 2010-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.

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