Tuesday, November 3, 2020

V 10 N. 75 Big Butts Make for Better Sprinters

 On October 1, 2020,  The Guardian published an unsigned report on recent research into effects of size of the  Gluteus maximus and the ability to sprint.  The bigger the glutes, the better the chance that a potential athlete will have to achieve greatness on the track in the short events.  I'm sure there is a cutoff at which this data can be used.  No contenders in the 300 pound class with a derriere the size of one of the Budweiser Clydesdales need apply.  You might want to consider Sumo wrestling.   To date this study was done on men only at Loughborough University which has one of the leading sports research facilities in  England .

Quote from the article:

Rob Miller, a PhD student at Loughborough University and a strength and conditioning coach with British Athletics, and Professor Jonathan Folland, an expert in neuromuscular performance, used a magnetic resonance imaging to measure the size of 23 lower body muscles in 42 men,  five elite sprinters , 26 sub-elite and 11 untrained men.

Among the elite and sub-elite sprinters there was variability in performance with 100m personal bests that ranged from 9.91 to 11.25 seconds.

The researchers found 44% of this variability in performance was explained by the size of the gluteus maximus and that this muscle was 45% bigger in elite sprinters than sub-elite sprinters.

Based on this research it would seem imperative that serious focus in training should be on the development of those muscles.  Of course it would not be recommended to neglect other muscle groups in sprint training.

The article may be read at this link.

Larger Bottoms Are Key to Male Sprinting Success

I'm sure all our readers can think of great sprinters who are exceptions to this research.  Loughborough has plans to conduct similar research with women.   

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