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Legs of Elite Kenyan Runners Optimized for Efficient Storage and Recoil

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by NewsBot, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.


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    Muscle–tendon interaction and EMG profiles of world class endurance runners during hopping
    K. Sano, M. Ishikawa, A. Nobue, Y. Danno, M. Akiyama, T. Oda, A. Ito, M. Hoffrén, C. Nicol, E. Locatelli and P. V. Komi
    European Journal of Applied Physiology (online first) Full text available
    Full text
  2. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  3. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I note there was a statistical difference in BMI between the elite group and the control group, so where the findings due to being elite or because of the BMI?
  4. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

  5. Athol Thomson

    Athol Thomson Active Member

    The Control Group height was matched to each Kenyan subject within error of <1 cm. Yet the Gastro Achilles Tendon length was 264.2 ± 24.5mm for the Kenyans and 196.6 ± 12.8mm for the control group. Does this length allow for more efficient storage and release of elastic strain energy? (See the table from Ross Tuckers Blog attached) Not sure if I'm allowed to attach that Craig P so remove if you need to.

    As Ross Tucker said It would be interesting to compare results to the likes of Galen Rupp who may be more matched for height, weight and athletic ability to see if these measurements are any different.

    In fairness the authors did mention the BMI difference and other limitations of the study and made suggestions for future studies.

    I think it was a really interesting (BMI difference aside) study. They seem to be trying to make the point that the Kenyans have shorter medial gastroc fascicle length and longer tendons when compared to Caucasian runners of similar height and that this may play a part in more efficient storage and release of elastic strain energy. If you are a Caucasian runner with a shorter tendon length than a matched for height Kenyan runner this will not change no matter how much training you do or weight you lose......Will it?

    Attached Files:

  6. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

  7. Athol Thomson

    Athol Thomson Active Member

    Yeah fair enough I agree but the methods were still really interesting. They used a small ultrasound probe to measure the difference in gastroc fascicle length during hopping.

    To get access to 10 international Kenyan runners at their training camp would have been difficult enough. Where do you find 10 caucasian elite runners of similar standard?
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  8. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    I'm not so sure the advantage is tendon/calf elasticity because from what I gather good/great endurance runners have chronically stiff tendons, unlike sprinters which seem to favour compliant tendons.

    I would imagine having chronically stiff tendons reduces storage capacity which renders them almost useless?.

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