The Biomechanics of Sprinting


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Graham Pilkington & Martyn Jones Presntation at Athletics NI Coaching Conference

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  • What do you notice about this graph? 73% by 10m! How much time do we as coaches work on the first 20m, where 85% of the acceleration occurs? This speed determines you potential to compete during the race. Energy distribution idea – even for 100m, not just 400m.
  • It is ground contact time that is the key issue here. How often do you have a chance to influence the race? 40 opportunities! When in contact with the ground.
  • The Biomechanics of Sprinting

    1. 1. The Biomechanics of Sprinting
    2. 4. Starting Biomechanics
    3. 5. Starting <ul><li>Aim – development of max horizontal velocity </li></ul><ul><li>Achieved by placing body in best biomechanical position to apply force </li></ul>
    4. 6. Leg Positioning <ul><li>Right side of brain involved in detection and identification of signal </li></ul><ul><li>Left side – execution of movement </li></ul><ul><li>Right leg controlled by left side of brain & vice versa. </li></ul><ul><li>RT 26ms better with left leg as rear leg </li></ul><ul><li>MT 104ms better with right leg as rear leg (Eikenberry, 2008) </li></ul>
    5. 7. Types of Sprint Starts <ul><li>Aim to develop max impulse </li></ul><ul><li>Impulse = Force x Time </li></ul><ul><li>Distance between blocks – bullet (<30cm), medium (30-50cm), elongated (>50cm) </li></ul><ul><li>Medium best – best combination of body position to develop force and time on blocks </li></ul>
    6. 8. Pedal Angle/Foot Placement <ul><li>Stretch Shortening Cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Front Block - >45 deg </li></ul><ul><li>Front Spikes in ground </li></ul><ul><li>Rear Block – low as flexibility allows (c35 deg) </li></ul><ul><li>Foot position depends upon pedal height </li></ul>
    7. 9. Set Position <ul><li>Shoulders over hands – elbow’s not locked </li></ul><ul><li>Hips above shoulders </li></ul><ul><li>Flat back – neutral head position </li></ul><ul><li>Lower legs c45 degree </li></ul><ul><li>Front knee 90 – 110 degree </li></ul><ul><li>Rear knee 120 – 135 degree </li></ul><ul><li>Body weight evenly on feet and hands </li></ul><ul><li>Hold breath/tighten stomach muscles </li></ul>
    8. 10. After the Gun <ul><li>Focus on motor task – front arm/rear leg </li></ul><ul><li>Hips projecting forwards not up </li></ul><ul><li>Arms above parallel </li></ul><ul><li>Front arm – forearm lead </li></ul><ul><li>Rear arm – straight arm sweep back </li></ul><ul><li>Low rear heel recovery </li></ul><ul><li>c45 degree take off angle </li></ul>
    9. 11. Determining Best Start Position for your Athlete <ul><li>Fit the biomechanical model </li></ul><ul><li>Time to 10m </li></ul><ul><li>Changes with strength/growth </li></ul>
    10. 12. Teaching the Sprint Start a Practical Guide for Young Athletes
    11. 13. KEEP IT SIMPLE! <ul><li>Break the start down in to phases </li></ul><ul><li>Focus their attention on one or two key points and develop over time </li></ul><ul><li>Finally bring the phases together – chaining </li></ul><ul><li>Whole – Part – Whole? </li></ul>
    12. 14. Teaching The Phases:- <ul><li>Setting up the blocks… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Which foot first ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distance from the line to the blocks </li></ul></ul>
    13. 15. Which Foot First?
    14. 16. Distance from the line to the Blocks <ul><li>Foot Length </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Winkler/Seagrave/Mann Method </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 Feet to rear Block and 2 feet to front Block </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Leg Length </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Straight Leg to rear Block and 60% of this to the front Block </li></ul></ul>It is all about getting the athlete into the right position
    15. 17. Set Position <ul><li>What is important </li></ul><ul><li>Stability / Core Strength </li></ul><ul><li>Upper Body Strength </li></ul><ul><li>Foot Strength </li></ul><ul><li>Focus </li></ul>
    16. 18. How are these developed? <ul><li>Stability </li></ul><ul><li>In this phase basic core exercises (examples) </li></ul><ul><li>Upper body strength </li></ul><ul><li>Basic press up etc </li></ul><ul><li>Foot Strength </li></ul><ul><li>How important is this? </li></ul>
    17. 19. Foot Strength Exercises
    18. 20. Focus <ul><li>How important is reaction time ? </li></ul><ul><li>Use as a focus cue rather than train. </li></ul>
    19. 21. Drive Phase Mechanics
    20. 24. Summary of the Drive Phase 75% of total acceleration achieved in first 7 steps-The Drive Phase The application of Horizontal force is the key component in the drive phase Piston action for heel recovery in this phase of sprinting.
    21. 25. Transition Phase Mechanics
    22. 27. Drive Phase Mechanics
    23. 28. Coming out of the Blocks <ul><li>What is important ? </li></ul><ul><li>Explosion of hips </li></ul><ul><li>Stable movement with a low foot recovery </li></ul><ul><li>Foot strength </li></ul><ul><li>Control of core during movement </li></ul><ul><li>Ability for the muscles to extend and contract quickly </li></ul>
    24. 29. How do we train these <ul><li>Explosion of Hips </li></ul>
    25. 30. How do we train these <ul><li>Explosion of Hips </li></ul>
    26. 31. Low Foot Recovery <ul><li>Low Walking </li></ul><ul><li>Running Drills </li></ul><ul><li>Wall Drills </li></ul><ul><li>Exaggerated Marker Runs </li></ul>
    27. 32. Low Foot Recovery
    28. 33. Low Foot Recovery <ul><li>Video of Exaggerated Marker Drill </li></ul>
    29. 34. Control of Core during movement
    30. 35. Control of Core during movement
    31. 36. Control of Core during movement <ul><li>Single leg exercises </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Squats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Controlled Hopping </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lunges along a line </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Glut Strengthening </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hip Strengthening </li></ul></ul>
    32. 37. Ability for the muscle to extend and contract quickly <ul><li>Basic Plyometrics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hopping </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Squat Jumps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skipping </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hop Scotch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ladder Exercises </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low hurdles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speed Bounce </li></ul></ul>
    33. 38. Something a bit more controversial! If we expect our athletes to be able to perform these complex movement skills when do we practice them?
    34. 39. Something a bit more controversial? If we expect our athletes to perform these movements during a race/training session – how do we prepare them to execute these complex movements?