Swimisodes – Swimming Starts – How to Position Your Feet

In this first of many #swimisodes on swimming starts, Coach Gary Hall teaches the proper distance one should maintain between feet both side to side and back to front on the modern swimming starting block.
Getting off to a good start can make or break a race but many of us don’t have advice on how to setup and execute great swimming starts. In this swim technique video series on various swimming start techniques we will guide you through the essentials that we believe will lead to not only faster but also safer swimming starts and much faster results in the pool. With the limited amount of swimming starting blocks that have the back foot plate and side grips, many of us use these for the first time at a competition. We hope this video will get you thinking about the change in swimming start technique that you might expect when transitioning to these new blocks and how you can use these features as an advantage.

13 Responses to Swimisodes – Swimming Starts – How to Position Your Feet

  1. ethni dixon

    Thank you for the videos – I want to ask you if you would concider taking a South African Downs Syndrome Swimmer under your wing and support us financially also for like $500 a month?
    I want to really get her fit and ready for the Down Syndrome World Champs in ITaly in 2016. In Mexico last year she got 4 medals, silver for 200 fly, bronze for both 100 fly and 400IM and bronze for relay 800m free(200 each) Kind Regards- ethni

  2. Marcia Hill

    But the diver doesn’t seem to bring his elbows up as I thought you were supposed to do.

  3. garyhallsr

    You are observant and correct. We do not advocate bringing the arms straight back, as Zach is doing in the video. We believe bending the elbows and lifting the arms straight up past the chest is a better way of starting.

  4. Neil Mavis

    Great swimming techniques tips! Thank you.

  5. Pingback: Starting With the Back Footplate - The Race Club | The Race Club

  6. Mohammed afzal

    thanks great information and videos uploaded about swim teqniques , I have a question that After 4 labs of free style I get run out breath and muscles get tired . Could you give me nice tips to swimm non stop swim at lest 6 labs. Thanks and regards

    • Gary Hall Sr.

      Mohammed..swimming is not easy, even with great technique. You must practice and build up stamina. Just follow our Swimisodes to learn how to swim smarter.

  7. bill paine

    While this does not directly connect to the use of the block, I think Zach’s head position, while underwater and coming up during the break out is not aligned with his arms and thus there is some extra ‘frontal drag’. Just saying, but the video is awesome, and the instruction is great !

  8. Gary Hall Sr.

    Zach would be the first to tell you that he is not the best starter out there and while he does many things well…he does not do them in all aspects of the start. We will comment on some of these later on in subsequent start Swimisodes..good pick up.

  9. Karen Duggan

    Thank you for the video.
    Our local hs just built a beautiful new facility. The blocks have the plate and it adjust forward and back. In the video you said feet should be closer, so should the plate be as far forward as possible, or does it depend how big your feet are? Or is it a comfort preference only?
    Thanks again.

    • Gary Hall Sr.

      Hi Karen,

      It depends more on the height of the swimmer. The taller the swimmer, the further back the footplate should be. It should be placed further back for the slingshot start as opposed to the weight forward start. Each swimmer needs to find his/her comfort zone with the position and practice using it a lot before racing.

  10. Lucas Kovacs

    I love these videos. As a young coach, these are great for me to learn the fin details of technique. Have you made/ will you ever make a video pertaining to relay starts?

    • garyhallsr

      We recently video’d arguably the best starter in the world, Brad Tandy, from South Africa. We will be featuring Brad’s start in the next release of Swimisodes.


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