starting blocks in track

Last Updated on January 3, 2023 by Andrew Pirie

16 Amazing Steps on Block Starts – Positioning the Starting Blocks in track

block starts
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Why are starting blocks important?

Starting Blocks can make a huge difference in a race. When a race is separated by milliseconds a good start can make the difference between coming first and last in a close race.



Do Starting Blocks make a difference?

Starting Blocks make a difference of around .10 to .15 vs not using them.


What are starting blocks used for?

Starting Blocks are used in Track and Field sprint events for 100m, 200m, 400m, and also 110 Hurdles, and 400 Hurdles. They are also used in the 60m, 150m, and 300m events.


This is the absolute best way to set up and properly use athletics blocks.

How do starting blocks make you faster?

The sprinters may assume a more effective starting stance and isometrically preload their muscles more effectively thanks to the blocks. They can sprint faster overall and with a stronger start as a result.

How do Starting Blocks Work?


Setting up the Starting Blocks

  1. Hold the starting blocks in your hands.
  2. Face the opposite way that you are going to run.
  3. Put your heel on the inner edge of the start line.
  4. Stamp on them to avoid slipping
  5. Find your strong foot: it’s the foot you kick a ball with. This is the foot that will drive you out of them—the one closest to the line.
  6. Adjust the strong foot block angle using the spring-loaded thing on the back so that it is at either its lowest or second-lowest incline (personal preference)


 Positioning the Starting Blocks

1. Begin with the strong foot block: face away from the direction you’re going to run.

  1. Then put your heel on the line. Also, put your other heel on your toe. Hence it would help if you were two-foot lengths out now.
  2. Then place the block so the part of your spikes with pins is resting flat on the block’s tartan surface. If you sit into your blocks at this stage, your front leg’s knee should touch the line.

Weak foot block: do the same. Only instead of two feet out, you are going 3 feet out from the line.


2. Know how to sit into the starting blocks properly.

  1. Your toes should not touch the ground- they should be well up the blocks.
  2. And make contact with the complete block with your foot for maximum power transfer.
  3. At the “on your marks,” you should be in a kneeling position, with your hand shoulder-width apart, on the tips of your fingers just behind the line.

3. Lock your elbows straight until you hear the gun.

  1. This will help your arms leave the blocks as fast as possible.
  2. Then twist your arms outwards, so your palms and elbows are facing outwards.
  3. Then twist only your hands back, so your palm is now facing inwards. Your elbows should still be facing outwards.

4. Set Position

  1. Lean forwards and shift most of your weight onto your hands.
  2. And be sure not to bend your back too much as you want a straight line through your body at all times to maximize energy transfer.


5. Listen for “Set.

  1. When you hear it, raise your backside as far as you comfortably can while
  2. remaining “coiled” while inhaling sharply.
  3. And hold your breath in anticipation, and when you hear the gun.
  4. Also, forcibly exhale as you explode off the blocks.
  5. Yet it would help if you were aiming for long powerful strides, rather than quick, short ones.

On your first stride, swing your arm straight back, extend your other arm right over your head in an exaggerated fashion, and make sure your lead knee comes right up as far as you can. This will ensure a long, powerful first stride. This leads to my article about the first 3 steps in a sprint start after clearing the blocks.

When we’re starting blocks first introduced?

Australian Charlie Booth and his father are credited with creating their invention in 1929. Previously, athletes would plow holes in the dirt track. At the start of each race, trowels were available. The system wasn’t the most reliable or stable. Because the holes had to be patched for later runners, it was also damaging to the track surface. Because George Simpson used starting blocks, his record of 9.4 seconds for the 100-yard dash, set in 1930, was invalidated.






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