Block starts revisited

…can we ever really talk about the start enough :slight_smile:

I have been working on block starts for a while and have been exposed to many schools of thought. My goal of this post is to look at the start from a neutral position.

When in the set position my athletes focus on the lead hand, so if their power leg is their left they think about raising the hand up quickly.

Here is what is confusing to me.

If the hand comes up shouldn’t the rear leg be wired to lift instead of push to match the normal locomotion of the body? Research has shown that the rear leg has a faster RFD and higher spike of wattage yet I thought the first leg would naturally step out while the front leg pushes.

So what really happens and why? I see the double push then a leg swing on the rear leg after it pushes to catch up to the arm. Am I missing something?

Could you share with me your thoughts?

Thanks :o

Interesting question. My guess is that the arm on the side of the rear leg starts in a position (the set position in the blocks) that is counterbalancing the rear leg. Notice how if you stand up your shoulder is already flexed or raised to 90 degrees, which counterbalances the extension of the hip, knee and ankle of the rear leg. However as you drive your rear leg forward you need to counterbalance with your front arm which is being raised above your head.

If you think only of the arms, the back leg automatically delivers a pulse of power before coming off the block and forward (a la Ben). If you think about the back leg coming forward- it will, without delivering any power. If you think of pushing with the back leg, or being “extra powerful” everything is slowed down