Understanding the effect of touchdown distance and ankle joint kinematics on sprint acceleration performance through computer simulation

Neil Edward Bezodis, Grant Trewartha, Aki Ikka Salo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This study determined the effects of simulated technique manipulations on early acceleration performance. A planar seven-segment angle-driven model was developed and quantitatively evaluated based on the agreement of its output to empirical data from an international-level male sprinter (100 m personal best = 10.28 s). The model was then applied to independently assess the effects of manipulating touchdown distance (horizontal distance between the foot and centre of mass) and range of ankle joint dorsiflexion during early stance on horizontal external power production during stance. The model matched the empirical data with a mean difference of 5.2%. When the foot was placed progressively further forward at touchdown, horizontal power production continually reduced. When the foot was placed further back, power production initially increased (a peak increase of 0.7% occurred at 0.02 m further back) but decreased as the foot continued to touchdown further back. When the range of dorsiflexion during early stance was reduced, exponential increases in performance were observed. Increasing negative touchdown distance directs the ground reaction force more horizontally; however, a limit to the associated performance benefit exists. Reducing dorsiflexion, which required achievable increases in the peak ankle plantar flexor moment, appears potentially beneficial for improving early acceleration performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-245
Number of pages14
JournalSports Biomechanics
Volume14
Issue number2
Early online date23 Jun 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2015

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