Have You Seen Ruta’s Newest Twitter Profile Picture? Wow.

Have you seen Ruta Meilutyte’s new Twitter profile picture?

Ruta Meilutyte Twitter Picture

Can you train this? Is this sort of explosiveness off of the blocks and reaction time just a natural ability? If it’s teachable, we should all be teaching it. It’s hard to make out exactly who else is in this picture, but this is Meilutyte against a world class field. She’s already got half-a-body length lead about half-a-second after the buzzer was sounded to start the race.

This is an incredible visual representation of just how great her starts are. In Barcelona, she was off the blocks on average a tenth of a second faster than her closest competitors, Yulia Efimova and Jessica Hardy, and even more against the rest of the field. And she’s not exactly getting off the block fast just for the sake of getting off the block fast – she has a ton of power and momentum as she enters her underwater.

This is why Meilutyte, despite how good she is at such a young age, might not even be done crushing World Records yet. This start is what separates her from the rest of the world, and she can probably get even a little better. If you’ve ever wondered why her 100 breaststroke splits seem so wonky – out at World Record pace when she turns – this start is why.


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Jason C.

Braden – to answer you question yes it is teachable/trainable. The better question is why aren’t more swim coaches training their swimmers to be explosive athletes rather than trudging endurance athletes? Any swimmer can increase their explosive power off the blocks no matter their genetic make-up. And we are finding more and more that many muscle fibers are adaptable and “morph” if you will to whatever way they are trained the most. A fundamental and sound strength & conditioning program is all you need. The real question is why aren’t more swimmers and coaches doing this? And if you say you are and you’re doing exercises for more than 6 reps, no you’re not doing it. I’ve had athletes from… Read more »

Start training is a lot DANGEROUS if not taken seriously.The load on the swimmer knees is a lot.
Probably the best start i saw was Bousquet 2010 Euro Champs semis and Cesar Cielo 2010 PanPacs(video below):

Cielo made 4.9seconds in the first 15 meters!But died horribly at the end…(note: cielo 21.32s was only 5.28 in the first 15 meters)

More coaches would train it if they weren’t all History majors in college. Too many don’t have any formal knowledge of exercise science.


I laughed. My college coach was a history major.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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