Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It is all about genetics - your toes are too short!

When it comes to sporting performance, you know ultimately it is all about genetics - the hand that you were dealt by your parents.

There is a lot of talk about how to train, how to eat etc but when it comes to it it is about things that you really cannot influence.....like the length of you toes!

Longer toes, unique ankle structure aid sprinters

Longer toes and a unique ankle structure provide sprinters with the burst of acceleration that separates them from other runners, according to biomechanists.

"At the start of a sprint the only way a runner can speed up is through the reaction force that results from the action of leg muscles pushing on the ground," said Stephen Piazza, associate professor of kinesiology, Penn State. "Long toes provide sprinters the advantage of maintaining maximum contact with the ground just a little bit longer than other runners."

Piazza and his colleague Sabrina S. M. Lee, former Penn State graduate student now a post-doctoral fellow at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, studied the muscle architecture of the foot and ankle to look at the differences between sprinters and non-sprinters.
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Anonymous said...

Therefore, short toes should help marathon runners, ne?

Anonymous said...

And from the "this I believe, but cannot prove" file:those born with "high calves", i.e, more tendon/ligament structure in this area are inherently more "springy" and therefore at an advantage in the sprints. Of course, they'd also be at a disadvantage in the raw strength sports (i.e., strongman and such).