International Journal of Exercise Science 10(4): 515-521, 2017. The purpose of this investigation was to determine which foot stance, the track start (TS) or the grab start (GS), is most beneficial for competitive swimmers. Seven male and eight female collegiate swimmers participated in this study. The average participant age was 20.1 ± 1.13 years while the average years of competitive swimming experience was 10.8 ± 3.36 years. Participants performed three TS and three GS stances consecutively. Distance markers were placed on the side of the pool to determine where each swimmer entered the water. Video analysis was used to determine the following factors: start phase time, flight phase time, flight distance, horizontal entrance velocity, and entrance angle. Prior to participating in the study, swimmers completed a brief survey regarding age and competitive swimming experience, and researchers measured each participant’s height and weight. A paired sample T-test was used to determine significant differences between the GS and TS. The results indicated that the TS foot stance resulted in a shorter start phase time (0.76 ± 0.07 s vs. 0.88 ± 0.10 s; P < 0.001), a shorter flight phase time (0.81 ± 0.08 vs. 0.95 ± 0.07; P < 0.001), and a greater horizontal entrance velocity (3.56 ± 0.51 m/s vs. 3.10 ± 0.41 m/s; P < 0.001). The GS allowed swimmers to travel further in the air (2.96 ± 0.43 m vs. 2.88 ± 0.41 m; P = 0.013). The TS entrance angle was significantly shallower than the GS entrance angle (36.98 ± 3.17° vs. 38.53 ± 3.81°; P = 0.004). Based on the results, the TS foot stance provides swimmers with the greatest advantage.
Dassoff, Alexander S.; Forward, Naomi R.; and Katica, Charlie P.
"Differences between the Grab Start and Track Start in Collegiate Swimmers,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 10
4, Pages 515 - 521.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol10/iss4/4