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How to set up starting blocks

How to set up starting blocks

See our 'How to...' video showing how to make up a set of starting blocks.

Let us know what other topics you would like us to cover in our series of resources for athletes.

See below for a written guide on setting up your blocks.

Neuff - Serious about Sport


How to set up starting blocks

Tools for the job:

  • A set of boxed starting blocks. We have demonstrated with Pro-Olympic blocks, but most starting blocks are similar.

The box contains:

  • Centre bar
  • Two footplates
  • Two stabilising plates
  • A bag of spikes and a spike key
  • Bolts
  • Allen key


Steps for assembly:

  1. Orientate the centre bar as it would be for the athlete. e. when the athlete stands on the blocks, they need to be able to read the numbers on the centre bar.
  2. Take the smaller stabilising plate and fix it to the front of the centre bar using the bolts and allen key. Put both bolts in loosely first, then tighten them with the allen key.  The front spike holes will be protruding from the front of the centre bar. Note:  The large hole in the middle is for a large pin to anchor the blocks on grass surfaces.  The pin is not usually provided.
  3. Position the larger stabilising plate across the back of the centre bar, insert both bolts loosely, then tighten with the allen key.
  4. Turn the centre bar over and insert the spikes in the pre-drilled holes in the stabilising plates. There should be four spikes on each side of the rear plate and four in the front.
  5. Fix the footplates. Each footplate has a fixture on the side with a couple of bolts under a plate.  The plate fits over the side of the centre bar, whilst the bolts slot into the grooves on the centre bar. 
  6. Adjust your footplates. The footplates can each be moved forwards and backwards so they sit in the correct position for your stance.  Each footplate has a simple bar/slot adjustment at the back to adjust the angle.  Try a few versions in training if you are not sure.    
  7. Optional: Tie a piece of string through the pin hole in the front stabilising plate and position your blocks the correct distance from the start line to ensure optimal placement of your hands.  Cut the string to fit that distance.  Each time you use your blocks, use the string to ensure you blocks are perfectly positioned, then tuck it underneath your blocks.  This means you don’t need to carry a tape measure every time you race. 
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