Master of Science
Dickey, James P.
The performance impact of different knee extension angles in the setup position for a backstroke start was evaluated using an instrumented starting surface. Ten backstroke swimmers completed maximum-effort starts in each of two setup positions: one with the knees flexed, and one with the knees extended. The start handles and touchpad were instrumented with tri-axial force plates. Activity of major hip and knee extensors was measured using surface electromyography. Body position was recorded throughout the start using two high-speed cameras. There was no difference in time to 10 m between the two conditions, indicating there is likely no advantage in universally recommending one setup position over the other. However, starts performed from a setup position with greater knee extension had a greater head entry distance, while starts from a setup position with less knee extension had a greater takeoff velocity; both of these variables are related to better start performance. Coaches should assess athletes to determine which position will result in better performance on an individual basis.
Barkwell, Gordon E., "Performance Impact of Different Lower-Limb Setup Positions in the Backstroke Swimming Start" (2018). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 5609.