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A Comparison of Two Swimming Start Techniques from the Omega OSB11 Starting Block

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Recently the world governing body of aquatic sport has approved the use of a new starting platform (Omega OSB11), and it is currently being used at all international events. Due to the recent approval, swimmers are modifying their start techniques to be able to maximize performance from the new platform. This study investigated the effectiveness of the grab and track competitive swimming start techniques off of the Omega OSB11 start block using a single-subject experimental design. A replica start block was constructed with an embedded force plate. Four subjects participated in this study; two males and two females. The protocol consisted of six starts; three of the track start technique, and three of the grab start technique. Using kinetic data collected from the force plate and signal from an electronic starter, the time to two-meters was predicted. A two-tailed paired t-test was used to determine if the track starts were significantly faster than the grab starts for each subject. Results show that all four subjects were faster to the two-meter mark using the track start technique than the grab start method. Our findings suggest that swimmers should consider using the track start over the grab start on the Omega OSB11 platform.

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