A three dimensional analysis of three sprint starting positions identifying the key kinetic and kinematic variables associated with success
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The sprint starts of 6 elite Male sprinters were filmed for three different sprint start conditions through an 18 point calibration volume (4.4 x 1.3 x 1.98 m). The sample consisted of, 6 elite male sprinters, stature 182.6 cm (± 8.6), mass 78.6kg (± 5.4) and 100m personal best of 10.59 ± 0.19 s. Video data were digitised using the TARGET system. A 15 point spatial model was used to reconstruct the performances using CODA. Ground Reaction Forces were collected using a Kistler (9287BA) force platform and analysed using Bioware software. The results indicated that the medium starting position created the greatest mean peak vertical GRF (1363.3 ± 115.8 N) and greatest mean peak horizontal GRF (975.63 ± 114.7 N). The bunched starting position does however offer the advantage of a lower peak vertical GRF and shorter block duration, allowing the sprinter to commence running sooner. The mean joint angles indicate the bunched position created the optimum front knee angle (89.9 ±13.1 °) and the elongated position created the optimum rear knee angle (126.6 ± 22.7°). Repeated Measures ANOVA’s indicate a significant difference exists in angular velocity during the drive phase between the bunched and medium starting positions in both ankles and the right hip (P < 0.05). The bunched block position demonstrates the greatest dorsiflexion prior to takeoff. The medium block position created greater joint velocity during dorsiflexion, however the bunched position created a greater maximum velocity during the start phase. It is difficult to determine the most effective sprint start position between bunched and medium, as they both offer different benefits to the starting action. Future research should examine the effect of inter block distance on running phase kinetics and kinematics.
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