Physical Education - Anatomical and physiological differences affecting
Anatomical and physiological differences affecting performance
Click here to view a video of Linford Christie in a sprinting race.
It has been found that, in addition to the many socio-cultural factors,
many groups, there are sometimes anatomical and physiological differences,
for example, the superior sprinting performance of the African Americans
could be influenced by:
* the higher percentage of Fast Twitch muscle fibres
* the angle of pelvic tilt and strong gluteal muscles allowing better
forward motion in a straight line
* narrower hips allowing a more bio-mechanically efficient running action
* longer legs in relation to the trunk allowing for longer stride length
* longer heel bones (3-4 mm) allowing for more to be produced from the
Achilles tendon in the plantar flexion phase of the stride
All of these small but significant factors help to give African Americans
an advantage in sprinting events.
Kenyans have an advantage in endurance events because they live and train
at high altitudes and walking/running is the common form of transport for
many. The power of role models should also be considered with Kenyan
runners, as they are national heroes, and running is the national sport.
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