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Joules (J) of elastic energy in sprinters

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Sicknote, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

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    Hi guys, I just have a query regarding the amount of joules (J) of elastic energy that "could be potentially" stored in both the Achilles tendon & the arch of the foot?.

    Here is a quote I took from the book: Biomechanical Basis of Human Movement, 3rd Edition. It states that both the Achilles tendon & the arch of the foot store around 54 joules (J) of elastic energy.

    My question is, Does an elite sprinter store more joules (J) of elastic energy than your average person through training?.

    And if so, What is the estimate for an elite sprinter for the amount of joules (J) they store in both the Achilles tendon & the arch of the foot alone?.

    Any replies would be appreciated.

    Kindest Regards.
  2. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  3. Sick:

    This reference comes from one paper that estimated the elastic strain energy within the Achilles tendon (Ker RF, Bennett MB, Bibby SR, Kester RC, Alexander RM: The spring in the arch of the human foot. Nature, 325: 147-149, 1987), but did not directly measure it. There have been no studies on this subject, otherwise, to my knowledge. I would try using the key words, "Elastic Strain Energy" and "Achilles tendon" in a Google search.
  4. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    Damn, I really needed that info.

    Although there have been no studies on this subject, wouldn't it be common sense that the elite sprinter stores more joules (J) of elastic energy than your average person?.

    Another way to put it. If the average person stores (54 joules approx) through regular activity, wouldn't you gather an elite sprinter stores more than (100+ joules)?.

    Or does the amount of joules remain constant in every person (54 joules approx), regardless of the amount of use/disuse of the foot & lower limb?.
  5. Sick:

    Why do you really need that information?
  6. Potential for energy storage within the tissues is a function of the stiffness and deformation of the tissues:

    Energy storage = 1/2 KX>2

    K is the stiffness of the tissue
    X is the displacement

    However, deformation and stiffness are also directly related, but inversely. So, if stiffness is doubled, deformation is halved and the net result should be a 50% reduction in the potential for energy storage. Thus, the more compliant the tissue the greater the potential for energy storage. As we know human tissues are visco-elastic, thus their stiffness is dependent upon the rate of loading, faster loading results in stiffer tissues. So the questions become, do elite sprinters load the tissues more rapidly than non-elite sprinters? Do they deform the tissues more? etc.
  7. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    Just for an essay I'm putting together for uni, hoping to find out whether humans have the potential to store more joules (J) of elastic energy than the average (54 joules approx) as stated in one of my sources: Biomechanical Basis of Human Movement...... through meticulous training/strengthening of the feet & lower limbs.
  8. efuller

    efuller MVP

    Or it could be the elite sprinter has more fast twitch muscle fibers than the average person and can develop force faster than the average person.

    It would be very difficult to separtate the work done by the elastic tissues from the work done by the muscles. For the tendons to provide elastic force the contractile elements attached to the tendon will usually also be applying force. The plantar fascia would be especially difficult because there are muscles that run right along side the fascia.

    For muscle tendon units, to separate the contractile work (Fxd) from the elastic work you would have to know the total length of the unit, the length of the elastic unit and the length of the muscular part of the unit over time. Not an easy study.

  9. Dr. Steven King

    Dr. Steven King Well-Known Member


    How much energy in Jouels is strored and produced in the forefoot?
    ie how much energy do the long flexors and short flexors provide for stabilization and propulsion at toe off?

    I have heard that it is around 20 joules. 1 apple dropped 1 meter is 1 joule of energy apx.

    How can we improve that?
    Should we?
    How many joules are released in Jerome Singleton's composite prosthesis at "toe off"?

    A Hui Hou,

    Kingetics- Building the Force to Acellerate Your Mass...TM
  10. You might want to learn how to spell first before you start adding trade marks, to your tag lines, Steve. :rolleyes::bash:

    P.S. naming things after yourself is usually viewed as being a bit naff round these parts.

    Merry Christmas
  11. Dr. Steven King

    Dr. Steven King Well-Known Member

    Mahalo Simon,

    I have never met a naff i did not like or at least smell like.

    You are very estute, my spelling could use some improvement or at least i should try to fix-download the spell checker.

    I rely on your deep knowledge base to answer the question i posted on the previous posting please.

    Good Chear and Happy New Year !

    Kingetics = Spring Kinetics = Kinetic Springs = Kingetics...TM

    "Yes, the one significant difference between Dillinger and Rockerfeller is how they got their feeling of importance." Dale Carnegie How To Win Friends and Influence People
  12. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    Steven, This was quoted from the book: Explosive running by Michael Yessis.

  13. Dr. Steven King

    Dr. Steven King Well-Known Member

    Mahalo Sick Note,

    I hope you get better.

    Thank you for a responce. So what this tells me is that the toes do not provide much power for pushoff. They are there for ground stablization and good looks?

    If we can power up the toes can we power up gait?

    A Hui Hou,

    Kingetics- Striding Stronger...TM
  14. So by reducing the compliance of the forefoot material of the shoe, and therefore increasing the dorsiflexion stiffness at the mtpjs you potentially reduce energy loss and increase propulsive force. This is why sprint spikes have completely rigid spike plates.

    How does this transfer to distance running where the trend has been to move away from rigid spike plates to more flexible shoes- however when you look at lap times from world class distance races (sub 52 last 400m at last yrs world champs in the 5k, and Ave lap times of 62) these guys are travelling far quicker than most peoples sprint speed. Therefore logic suggests that a less compliant spike plate would be better!?
  15. Dr. Steven King

    Dr. Steven King Well-Known Member

    Aloha Gareth,

    If you are the same Gareth with all the quick track times on the United Kingdom Atheletes i can understand your interest in this subject.

    Our bodies must either store or produce energy during gait, hopefully both.

    Composites store more energy than foams.

    A complient spike plate on a tuned track is still running on foam.

    The most efficient surface to run on is the hardest.

    Dr. Nigg and Dr. Stefanyshyn at the U. of Calgary have researched this topic and have found interesting results.

    "Influence of insole bending on joint energy and jump height performance." and "Shoe midsole longitudinal bending stiffness and running economy, joint energy, and EMG."

    1. Why no mention of advanced composites in Dr. Nigg's new book?
    2. How can you lead if you are always looking in the Rearview Mirror of what has been done in the past?

    Composites allows the greatest amount of energy storage of all materials for their weight, better that any foam or tendon.


    Kingetics- Slicing Seconds for Firsts...TM
  16. No. Our bodies do not produce energy since this would violate the first law of thermodynamics.

    No. It's not that simple
    Energy storage = 1/2 KX>2

    K is the stiffness of the material
    X is the displacement

    But that's not what the science says:
    http://jap.physiology.org/content/92/2/469.full.pdf html

    Metabolic cost is a lesser concern in sprinting when compared to distance running, Gareth. In the study I cited above the authors noted a decrease in metabolic cost with increasing compliance of the running surface. They said:"We postulate that an increased energy rebound from the compliant surfaces studied contributes to the enhanced running economy." In other words, the reason shoes designed for distance running are more compliant is probably because more compliant surfaces have been demonstrated to be more metabolically efficient and metabolic efficiency is a key component of distance running.

    The key with surface stiffness manipulation is to not force the leg to operate outside of it's zone of optimal leg stiffness (ZOOLS). Sure you can make a surface really compliant, but the body will attempt to modulate and increase leg stiffness in response to this; if the body cannot provide enough stiffness in the leg to meet the needs of the surface stiffness (in order to maintain a constant net stiffness for the system) without pushing the leg stiffness above the upper limit of the ZOOLS then injury may ensue. Similarly but conversely, if we make the surface too hard the body will attempt to decrease leg stiffness to maintain a constant net system stiffness. If the body cannot make the leg compliant enough without it dropping below the lower limit of the ZOOLS then injury may well occur.

    In generally: metabolic efficiency increases with increasing leg stiffness (kleg), leg stiffness increases with decrease in surface stiffness (ksurf).

    One of the other problems with energy return in running is returning the stored energy from the shoe /surface to the foot at the right point in space and time. Easier in forefoot strike running than heel strike running. Much easier in running than in walking.

    Toot tooot, all aboard the bandwagon TM

    Attached Files:

  17. That's a lovely lecture, Kevin. Great find. Thank you. And a big thank you to the teachers that produced it; now there are some people I should welcome with open arms to contribute to Podiatry Arena- "nice work fellas".
  18. Dr. Steven King

    Dr. Steven King Well-Known Member


    Mahalo Kevin and Simon,

    Sorry Simon for saying the wrong word for you,,,i used the word energy when i should have said potential energy.

    Foam is foam.

    The hardest running surface will be the fastest. The most efficient shoe will protect from "compression wave resonance" or "ZOOLS issues" and transfer vertical impact force energy into horizontal impulse energy.

    Tuned tracks are subject weight sensitive and unfair to those who fall outside its reflex parameters.

    Tuned tracks are for the rich and fortunate,,,some atheletes still run and train on dirt and cinder tracks in this world. Ask Bolt where he had to come from.

    How many jouels of force are produced by the long flexors past the MPJ's during gait?
    Should we try to improve this?

    Thank you all for your contributions to Podiatry Arena, your the best.


    Kingetics- Making Your Life's Work Less Work...TM
  19. Why? To paraphrase my own mentor recently- fastest over which distance? And why?

  20. The point of the tuned track is that it improved the times of both for the home (Harvard) runners and the runners from other colleges. So the tuned track was not "unfair" in any way.

    The Harvard tuned track was able to improve runners times since it deformed and rebounded with enough displacement and at the same frequency as did the runners' legs and center of mass so that their metabolic efficiency of running was increased for all runners. And, by the way, male college distance runners tend to all weigh between 125 to 185 pounds so I don't think that weight would be an issue at Harvard for intercollegiate competitions. It may be however not as good a track for children runners who weigh 65 pounds or for the current trend toward Clydesdale runners of over 200 pounds. The Harvard tuned track was not made for these individuals...it was made specifically for collegiate-level distance runners.

    Secondly, the tuned track will be able to be more efficient at "energy return" for distance runners than any shoe or shoe insert for two big reasons: 1) the track itself is deforming much more than any conventional shoe or foot insert and can therefore return more energy to the runner in its deformation and rebound, and 2) in doing so, the tuned track is increasing the metabolic efficiency of running without an extra "mechanical device" being added to the feet of the runner where the added energy cost of accelerating the increased moment of inertia of the lower limb during the forward recovery phase or running would significantly increase the metabolic cost of running.

    However, for sprinting races, such as 50 meter to 100 meter races, I would tend to think that the Harvard tuned track would be slower than running on a good synthetic track for elite sprinters since these races are run mostly anaerobically where metabolic efficiency is less of a factor. Theoretically, the longer the race, the greater effect that tuned tracks would have on improving athletic performance since, as race distance increases, so does the percentage of aerobic vs anaerobic metabolism increase.

    Therefore, in any discussion of improving racing performances in running, the aerobic vs anaerobic nature of the specific racing distance must be kept in mind if one is to intelligently discuss how to improve racing performance with mechanical devices such as tuned tracks, running shoes or running shoe inserts (i.e. orthoses).

    (Table from: Hawley JA: Running. John Wiley and Sons, 2000, p. 15.)
  21. No. You did not use the wrong word for me. You stated that the body produces energy and in so doing you suggested that it violates the first law of thermodynamics. It does not. This is not a simple semantic error; it's certainly not a case of "using the wrong word". I guess you think that coming up with a cheesy new tag line is more important than getting your facts correct. What is it that you are a Dr of? Marketing?
    Again, this statement does not put right the erroneous statement that you made previously that composites store more energy than foams. Can you support your previous contention? Is "foam is foam" your best response?
    That's why all the world records have been set on the same track- not.:bash: Why should the hardest surfaces be the fastest? Hint: what happens to the leg stiffness (kleg) as surface stiffness (Ksurf) changes? Are you just guessing or are you approaching this subject from an educated point of view? What is it that you are are trying to sell? Don't let the facts get in the way of your sales pitch, whatever you do.

    Now you are just talking lolo.

    I think Kevin has answered that, but really that statement makes you look like a hupo.
    That should be "you're" not "your". Now, there is an example of you using the "wrong word for me". What was it you were selling again?
    Frankly, these tag lines just make you look like an okole puka.

    Get it out in the open, Steven. Tell us what it is that you are trying to sell. That way we can all look at it and say what it is... I guess you think you've designed a way of tuning the stiffness of running shoes. As I said, this has been tried in the past and a number of patents already exist. What is it that makes your's different, other than the poxy tag lines?
  22. Dr. Steven King

    Dr. Steven King Well-Known Member

    Arrgg Spooner, Yov called me out!!

    I challenge the to a dare!

    Prove the Null Hypothesis...!!!

    There is no faster, lighter, safer orthotic device on the planets than the spring orthotic device.

    Please look up and web search my lolo name as i have yours and read any and all published works i may have writen, such as the "Spring Orthotic Device" which i am most humbly co-patent holder of.

    Dude get real and get off my case about grammer and spelling and high brow crap. Let's get physical and help some people...

    Much Aloha and Respect,

    Kingetics- Making Our Soldiers Safer One Step at a Time...TM
  23. Steven it is up to you to prove your marketing claims. Which obviously, you cannot. Stop talking **** and I wouldn't need to "be on your case", would I now. So far you have made a string of statements which are either false or unproved in an attempt to use this website to publicise your product. Well done. And now you want to "get physical" with me. What a twat.

    Finally, living in a city which is still predominantly a home base for Royal Marine Commando Regiments, several of their members having lost their lives recently, I find your latest tag line somewhat sick.
  24. Dr. Steven King

    Dr. Steven King Well-Known Member

    Dude read the patent please then speak out.
  25. Post the patent here and we can take a look at it. Moreover, stop making false statements and do the science before you make claims which you cannot evidence, "dude".
  26. ~ I took a glance. I bet Nike, Adidas and Asics et al. are fighting for the rights to this........ errr not.
  27. This is the funniest statement I've read so far this year (remember I read the Daily Mail on a daily basis). Someone remind me of this one when it comes to the best quotes of 2012- pure comedy.

    Have you actually manufactured one of these devices yet, Steven? Patents are great, you come up with an idea and pay for it to be patented. The funny thing is you don't actually have to manufacture the idea in order for a patent to be granted. Where is the clinical evidence to support any of your claims Dr. King?

    Where can I buy one of these wonders? Orthotics [sic] that are fast... whatever next? Do they work? I don't know I haven't caught it yet. Now, I'm guessing I could easily make an orthotic device which is lighter than that envisaged in the patent and how are we measuring safe, by the way? "That orthotic is safe, dude. I just scored an 1/8 off it."
  28. Dr. Steven King

    Dr. Steven King Well-Known Member

    Aloha Simon,

    You again are correct!

    I am getting kicked out of their parking lots when i have showed them this viable solution.

    Thank you for confirming my point that a tuned track is not consistant for all contestants. Lane 1 runs very different than lane 7 or 8. Not that you have ever had to run in 7 or 8, i am sure you have always run in lane 3 or 4.

    "And, by the way, male college distance runners tend to all weigh between 125 to 185 pounds so I don't think that weight would be an issue at Harvard for intercollegiate competitions. It may be however not as good a track for children runners who weigh 65 pounds or for the current trend toward Clydesdale runners of over 200 pounds. The Harvard tuned track was not made for these individuals...it was made specifically for collegiate-level distance runners."

    Thank for being such a fun and worthy antagonist.

    A Hui Hou,

    Kingetics- Spooning Up Solid Science...TM
  29. Steven, it is apparent that in addition to not being able to spell words such as "acceleration" and your making up of statements which you cannot support and/or are just plain wrong, you cannot read either. It was Kevin, not I that wrote about the tuned track at Harvard. You're a doctor? Seriously, you're a doctor? Of what? tm

    You have produced no solid science in any of your posts to Podiatry Arena thus far. Lets start with this beauty:
    "There is no faster, lighter, safer orthotic device on the planets than the spring orthotic device."- Dr Steven King

    Can you evidence any of that? Rhetoric question. Of course you can't. You are full of sh!t. And you are a doctor of what exactly? I've asked this repeatedly. I have noticed that you do seem incapable of answering a single question posed to you. I've seen this in other snake oil salesmen who have posted here.tm

    Kingetics- look at it... say what it is...piece of ****... now walk away tm
    Need we continue with these trade marked tag lines?
    Kingetics- pile of ****e tm
    Kingetics- I wouldn't trust Dr King to sit the right way around on a toilet seat tm
    Kingetics- you are fooking joking... right Dude? tm

    P.S.post up a photograph of one of these devices with your next post, bet you can't.tm

    Thank you for being yet another in a long line who turn up to this website thinking that you'll be able to use it to your own advantage to sell your pretty crappy wears, only to find that this website is actually contributed to by people who know far more than you do and enjoy ripping aforementioned salesmen new arseholes for breakfast. Carry on.... tm

    Enough now of your silly game Mr King, show me the evidence that people run faster when wearing your foot orthoses... Prove that it is the lightest orthotic on the planet, etc. tm

    A photograph would be a start.tm
  30. Dr. Steven King

    Dr. Steven King Well-Known Member

    Aloha Simon,

    Well i guesse i should not be looking for any future referals from you anytime too soon then ey?

    1. All the proof we need is in the patent. 65 pages, read it and understand it if you want to learn something new.
    2. Please ask your Honorable and Brave Royal Marines permission to hid behind thier flag the next time you are threatened with a dare that you cannot back up, please.
    "I'm sick of flags - whatever colour. There's only one flag - the white flag. SS.

    Our company is owned by Marines and if for Marines.


    Kingetics- We Got Your Six...TM
  31. You really are an idiot. And making it up as you go along. Next... How old are you? Twelve or thirteen?

    OK, prove that your company is owned by marines and "if" [sic: is] for marines. Looking at your patent the people who stand to gain from it are you and your family. Steven, my six year old daughter is smarter than you when she is telling porkies. Previously you wrote: "Kingetics- Making Our Soldiers Safer One Step at a Time...TM". How many soldiers have you made safer, Steven? I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that a pair of insoles, even if they are made of Kevlar, are not going to save a soldier when an improvised explosive device is detonated in their vicinity when they are on foot patrol in Helmand Province. Your insoles have not even been tested by the military have they, Steven? Offensive, you are. Your insoles only exist on a piece of paper, don't they Steven?

    Like I said, you frankly cannot read. The quote you lifted above from my location was just that- a quote from someone else- read it and you'll see who said it. Jeez you're thick.

    For anyone following- go back and count the number of questions Steven has been asked. Now count the number he has answered. The first is very simple- what are you a doctor of Steven?

    Look at him, say what he is...

    Kingetics... as naive as they are offensive. TM
  32. Dr. Steven King

    Dr. Steven King Well-Known Member

    Aloha Simon,

    This is awsome! It is like being in junior high again!

    To quote someone if you don't believe in the quote is silly. and yes i saw it was a silly quote.

    Don't bring our daughters into this they are far smarter than all of us silly saps slugging away on computers.

    1. How many joules are produced in the forefoot from the long flexors?
    2. Should we try to enhance that?
    3. Why is there a elevated heel on a cowgirl's boot?

    **The anger management class is down the hall next to my misspellers ananomus meeting.**


    Kingetics- Making Fast Faster...TM
  33. No. Diversion doesn't work. Answer the questions.

    Kingetics- avoiding the questions because Dr Steven King wished he hadn't said what he'd said and doesn't know how to provide an answer or get out of this now tm.

    Carry on. How many soldiers you made safer? How do you know you orthotic is the fastest? etc etc

    Where is that photograph of one of your orthoses?

    I think we've established that you know very little about running biomechanics and foot orthoses; that you have nothing but a piece of paper which you paid several thousand dollars for. Good luck with your future Steven. I don't think you have anything of value to anyone, I certainly don't think Nike et al. will be knocking on your door any time soon.
  34. Dr. Steven King

    Dr. Steven King Well-Known Member

    Mahalo Simon and Podiatry Arena Members,

    Please accept an olive branch with the white flag of peace attached.
    I have behaved more like a gladiator than a caring physician in my past posts here in the Podiatry Arena.

    In science nothing is proven until it cannot be disproven.

    I cannot disprove my claims made about the Spring Orthotic Device – Simple Spring Machine Tricorrectional Joint.

    I ask for your keen and knowledgeable assistance to help us disprove it.
    Five years ago I suffered a stress fracture of my right foot while playing with our Maui Ultimate Frisbee team, while wearing a pair of Adidas F30’s. I thought it was just an ache (possible peroneal tendonitis) caused by the cleat placement under my fifth metatarsal, nothing was seen on plain film radiographs. I converted the stress fracture to a nasty mid shaft Jone’s Fracture while sprinting for a drop shot while playing tennis with our USTA Mens 3.5 Maui Makena Mad Dog Tennis Team. I was wearing a pair of Adidas Barricade V’s. At age 38 I did not want to permanently give up high energy sports and the fitness that comes with competition, a Jones Fracture can do that.
    So what to do?
    Dr. Lowell Scott Weil Sr., when I was his extern in 1995, showed me how he used spring steel in the shoes for some of Chicago’s famous sports clubs to help stiffen shoes and treat Turf Toe.
    I could not find a source for spring steel inserts anymore but Otto Bock makes the Springlite carbon fiber plates. I used the plates during my later healing phase but they were hard on the balls of my feet. I tried cushions and met pads but hard is hard. Then one Saturday morning while procrastinating mowing the lawn I invented this new orthoic on my ping pong table. I placed an old Powerstep orthotic on top of the Springlite plate then added a rubber pivot made of recycled bicycle racing tires under the plate. I put the orthotic in a pair of Birkenstock clogs with the existing insoles removed. Two steps later I knew we were on to something important. The peak impact from my heel strike was reduced and the pressure and shear under my 5th metatarsal had dropped off noticeably. I thought I had just invented a new and beneficial way to make orthotics. I believe that still today.
    You have asked for proof and that is on the way. Kingetics LLC as well as DIApedia LLC have been awarded the U.S. Dept. of Defense grant SBIR A11-109 “Advanced Composite Insoles for the Reduction of Stress Fractures.” The researchers working with these companies on this grant are highly regarded and take your stand against frivolous claims.
    Our patent and the mechanical diagrams and equations are our existing proof. Dr. Chris Smith at Northwest Podiatric Laboratory has stated, “ Patents are horribly boring documents and keeping one's attention may be
    likened to attempted reading on a small boat on a stormy sea, with poor
    light.” I am sorry to make you read our patent to understand the concept of building orthotics and shoes utilizing simple machine physics.
    Thank you for testing our science both analytically and physically.
    A Hui Hou,
    Dr. Steven A. King
    Kingetics- Making the less ambled the More Ambled…TM - Kingetics LLC Mission Statement.
  35. Dr. Steven King

    Dr. Steven King Well-Known Member


    It has been a while since we visited this important thread and yet the question remains if we should try to enhance the strength of our footwear and orthotic systems at the ball of the foot, MPJs?

    I have been fortunate enough to have been invited as a Keynote speaker over the last two years at the Pedorthic Footwear Association's and the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association's national meetings.

    Both meetings were highly informative and i would advise participation in these meetings if you want to be on the cutting edge of orthotics and footwear.

    Current and future prosthetics are being made of advanced composite materials shoes are still being made out of plastics and foams for midsoles, Why??

    Here is a link to our solution and our humble request,


    Dr. Steven King DPM CPed.
    Member Kingetics LLC

    Co-Principle Investigator SBIR A11-109 "Advanced Composite Insoles for the Reduction of Stress Fractures." US Department of Defense and Army Medical Research and Matericals Command and Pacific Telehealth and Technology Hui and Hawaii Technology Development Center

    Voting Member- American Society of Testing Materials
    -F13 Footwear Safety and Traction Committee
    -E54 Homeland Security Applications and Body Armor

    Composite Spring Lever Runner and Marathon Finisher

    a foot doc that could use a little help explaining this new concept to others who do not understand it yet...

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