A comparison of three different start techniques on sprint speed in collegiate linebackers
Block start, False step, Football, Forward step, Rhythm step, Time
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
The purpose of this study was to compare the track block start (BS), rhythm step (false step) (RS), and forward step (FS) on sprint start ability in male Division I collegiate football linebackers. Although the blocks are not practical in the sport of football, they were used as a gold standard for sprint acceleration. Sixteen collegiate football linebackers (age, 20.9 ± 1.1 years; height, 72 ± 3.0 in; mass, 97 ± 4 kg) performed 3 repetitions each of the BS, FS, and RS. Each sprint was videotaped through 5 m. The time from 0 to 2.5 m (t2.5), 0 to 5 m (t5), and 2.5 to 5 m (tsplit) were calculated for each trial using all 3 different techniques, and the best times for each treatment was recorded. Block start resulted in significantly lower t2.5 and t5 compared with RS and FS. Rhythm step had significantly lower t2.5 and t5 compared with FS. There was no difference in tsplit between any of the 3 treatments. The results indicate that using the blocks is optimal for sprint performance through 2.5 and 5 m. Rhythm step outperformed FS through both 2.5 and 5 m, suggesting that for collegiate football linebackers, RS is superior to FS.
Department of Kinesiology
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Cusick, Jason L.; Lund, Robin J.; and Ficklin, Travis K., "A comparison of three different start techniques on sprint speed in collegiate linebackers" (2014). Faculty Publications. 1366.