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Sprint Mechanics in World-Class Athletes: A New Insight into the Limits of Human Locomotion

Abstract : The objective of this study was to characterize the mechanics of maximal running sprint acceleration in high-level athletes. Four elite (100-m best time 9.95-10.29 s) and five sub-elite (10.40-10.60 s) sprinters performed seven sprints in overground conditions. A single virtual 40-m sprint was reconstructed and kinetics parameters were calculated for each step using a force platform system and video analyses. Anteroposterior force (FY), power (PY), and the ratio of the horizontal force component to the resultant (total) force (RF, which reflects the orientation of the resultant ground reaction force for each support phase) were computed as a function of velocity (V). FY-V, RF-V, and PY-V relationships were well described by significant linear (mean R(2) of 0.892 ± 0.049 and 0.950 ± 0.023) and quadratic (mean R(2) = 0.732 ± 0.114) models, respectively. The current study allows a better understanding of the mechanics of the sprint acceleration notably by modeling the relationships between the forward velocity and the main mechanical key variables of the sprint. As these findings partly concern world-class sprinters tested in overground conditions, they give new insights into some aspects of the biomechanical limits of human locomotion.
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Contributor : Administrateur Hal Nanterre <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 4:18:20 PM
Last modification on : Monday, October 12, 2020 - 2:30:03 PM

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Giuseppe Rabita, Sylvain Dorel, Jean Slawinski, Eduardo Saez de Villareal, Antoine Couturier, et al.. Sprint Mechanics in World-Class Athletes: A New Insight into the Limits of Human Locomotion. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, Wiley, 2015, 25 (5), pp.583-594. ⟨10.1111/sms.12389⟩. ⟨hal-01467702⟩



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