The Swim Start: How to Create Explosiveness Off the Blocks

The swim start is one of the most important aspects of your training. You need to learn how to create speed off the blocks. If you don’t do it right, then you will not reach your potential. It’s very difficult to achieve high level performance without the ability to accelerate quickly from a standing position or even faster if necessary.

You have to understand that there are two types of swimming races: open water and pool racing. Open water races are held at a distance where you must go fast enough to stay ahead of other competitors, but not so much that you run out of time.

Pool racing is when swimmers compete against each other in a small enclosed area with no barriers between them and their opponents. When it comes to swimming races, the first rule is “don’t get disqualified.”

In order to make sure that you don’t get disqualified, you need to practice swimming off the blocks. Swimming off the blocks involves jumping into a pool of water while holding onto a pole attached to a line.

To jump into the water, you must hold on tightly and keep your body upright until you feel like you’re going too fast. Then, just before hitting the bottom of the pool, pull yourself back up again.

This might take some practice. Always be sure to do this under the supervision of an experienced swim coach so that you don’t risk hurting yourself or anyone else while learning how to master this technique.

Swimming off the blocks is not just about jumping in, though. You must also be able to get your body completely wet and still stay in control of your swimming techniques.

This is more difficult than it sounds, but with enough practice, you will be ready for any competition.

The first thing you should do is learn how to fall into the water without hurting yourself. To do this, start out in a sitting position with your feet dangling over the edge of the pool.

Next bend at the waist at a 90-degree angle and hold onto the pole with both hands. Once you are holding on to the pole, let go of the ledge with one foot and push yourself forward and off the pole with that foot. After both feet leave the pole, bend at the waist so that your head is closer to the water. As you are falling, spread your arms out to each side in order to break your fall and get some control over your body.

The Swim Start: How to Create Explosiveness Off the Blocks - Picture

This may take some time and it might be difficult to do at first. If you find that you are having problems with this, then you might need to hold onto the pole with just one hand before you let go with one of your feet.

If you want, you can also jump off of a diving board. This is probably easier because you don’t have to worry about holding the pole while you go off of it.

Either way, the most important thing is to get your body moving through the air before you even hit the water so that you do not hurt yourself.

Once you get good at jumping into the water without hurting yourself, then you can start working on speeding up your swimming stroke. When holding onto the pole, you are usually using a front crawl or a back crawl style.

You want to be sure you can swim fast with either of these strokes before you get in the water.

Begin by stretching your arms out in front of you and taking a deep breath. Then start swimming with your palms facing downward.

Make sure that your movements are fluid and keep breathing regularly throughout the process. After you get the hang of this, try swimming with your palms facing upward. Most swimmers find one style that works best for them so you might want to experiment a little before the big race.

By working on swimming off the blocks, jumping off of a diving board, and practicing good form and technique, you should be able to compete in just about any swimming competition and come out the winner!

Sources & references used in this article:

Relations between lower body isometric muscle force characteristics and start performance in elite male sprint swimmers by I Beretić, M Đurović, T Okičić… – Journal of sports science & …, 2013 –

Jumping abilities and swimming grab-start performances in elite and recreational swimmers by N Benjanuvatra, K Edmunds… – International Journal of …, 2007 –

The contribution of starting, turning, and finishing to total race performance in male Paralympic swimmers by DJ Daly, LA Malone, DJ Smith… – Adapted Physical …, 2001 –

Do footedness and strength asymmetry relate to the dominant stance in swimming track start? by J Hardt, N Benjanuvatra… – Journal of Sports …, 2009 –

Swimming anatomy by IA McLeod – 2009 –

Research Repository by S Thng, S Pearson, JWL Keogh –