View Full Version : Question about the starting blocks with "fins"

Allen Stark
July 28th, 2016, 12:11 PM
The pool I swim at doesn't have the adjustable fin at the back,so the only time I get to start with them is at meets like Nats. I have been told that the back foot should be up high on the fin. This feels unnatural to me and leads to less clean entries for me(but again,I don't really get to practice that start.) What is the reason for the recommendation of the back foot being placed high? Knowing the rationale may help my visualization and and preparation.

Mark Usher
July 28th, 2016, 01:27 PM
Here's a link to an article that explains the theory of the track start blocks: http://www.wired.com/2012/07/olympics-physics-swimming-starting-blocks/

I was taught to get my back leg at a 90 degree angle with my foot against the wedge to maximize the force when pushing off.

FWIW, here's a shot of one of my meets earlier this year, interesting/funny for the variety of stances on the blocks (I'm in the blue suit in lane 4):
(Click on the picture to enlarge)


My coach also told me to make sure I made a point to adjust the wedge before my races, even if I just moved it back to the same postiion - the idea being to help sych out my opponents by making them think I knew what I was doing! ;)

Allen Stark
July 28th, 2016, 01:41 PM
Thank you,that is exactly what I was looking for. I can visualize it now.

July 28th, 2016, 05:29 PM
Looks good to me. I still use two feet and toes over the front of the block. By the way - you look like you know what you are doing more than the guy in the yellow cap in lane #2 with the big watch on !!