Starting Your Swim Strong

Starting Your Swim Strong If you're going out for the swim team this summer, you should know the first swimmer to reach the 15 meter mark is generally the winner of any 50 meter freestyle event. This means that a big part of winning is your dive off the blocks. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research looks at the elements of start performance.

Eleven male international swimmers specializing in sprint races were tested on 3 reps max squat strength, countermovement jumps and quickness off the starting platform. Scientists found that race start success was closely related to squat strength and jump height. The swimmer's rate of force development, or quickness off the blocks, wasn't all that significant.

True Strength Moment: Lower body strength plays a prominent role in both jump height and power. If you want to be a serious sprint contender this summer you aren't going to want to skip leg day at the gym. Fortunately, you have plenty of time to work in extra sets of squats and leg presses.
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