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2014 | 42 | 1 | 15-26
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Body Composition and Kinematic Analysis of the Grab Start in Youth Swimmers

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The purposes of this study were to compare the kinematic variables in youth swimmers during the grab start between sexes and to investigate the relationship between body composition and kinematic variables of the participants. Six female (Mage = 13.71 ± 0.49 yrs) and seven male (Mage = 14.00 ± 1.07 yrs) swimmers participated in this study. All participants were required to perform grab start tests in random order (three trials by each participant), while the best attempt was analyzed. Nineteen kinematic parameters consisting of block time, flight time, flight distance, total time, total distance, horizontal and vertical displacement of the center of mass (CM) at take-off, horizontal and vertical displacement of the CM at entry, height of take-off and entry, relative height of take-off, horizontal and vertical velocity of the CM at take-off, horizontal and vertical velocity of the CM at entry, angle of take-off, angle of entry and angle of knee at block were analyzed. Out of the 19 evaluated kinematic parameters, a statistical difference between the female and male group was found only in the total distance. Therefore, both female and male groups are considered as only one group and merged after analyzing the results. Statistical analysis showed positive and negative correlations between horizontal / vertical velocity of CM at take-off and several kinematic variables (e.g. angle of entry (rhorizontal = -.868, p=.000 / rvertical = .591, p=.02), total distance (rhorizontal = .594, p=.02 / rvertical = .54, p=.04), and height of take-off (rvertical = .888, p=.000), respectively). On the other hand, positive and negative correlations were found between somatotype components and several kinematic variables (e.g. horizontal displacement of CM at entry (rendomorphy = -.626, p=.013), angle of entry (rmesomorphy = -.686, p=.005 / rectomorphy = .52, p=.047), total distance (rendomorphy = -.626, p=.012), and height of take-off (rendomorphy = -.633, p=.011 / rectomorphy = .515, p=.05)). In conclusion, results show that in order to be successful at grab start performance, a swimmer should target to get higher horizontal velocity of CM at take-off and optimize the angle of take-off so this movement form supplies more total distance to the swimmer. Coaches should consider improving start performance and adding start training to regular training sessions. Moreover, youth male and female swimmers can participate together in the grab start training
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