Biological vs. prosthetic legs and sprint starting
In 100m sprints it is obligatory to use starting blocks, athletes must use trial and error to define the position of the blocks. For unilateral amputees the asymmetry of the legs plays a large role in this push off.
There is no significant difference in push off times (time from initiating push off from blocks till force no longer exerted on block) for the unilateral amputees whether the affected leg is in the front or back starting block. However, there was a greater resultant force when the sound leg was placed in the front block, connected to a more vertical push off angle. Push off time was also not affected by placing blocks in a different position to that which the athlete is used to, although a greater combined reaction force was produced and the athlete feels “awkward”.
Watch a video of how to use the starting block in the sprint start below: