Hammies more efficient than quads at speed


Muscular Contributions To Each Style
It’s also worth mentioning that the muscular contributions to a uni-lateral (single leg)
takeoff vs a bi-lateral (2 legged) take off are different. Both of them rely on the muscles
of the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves, yet the contribution that each muscle
group provides changes depending on the style of jump. The unilateral jump relies much
more on the glutes, hamstrings, and calves with the quadriceps providing a lesser role.
The bilateral jump relies on the quadriceps musculature for up to 50% or more of the
power output. The glutes and hamstrings are inherently fast twitch muscles and tend to
be more efficient then the quadriceps when contracting at very high speeds such as those
that occur in a unilateral take off.
The quadriceps tend to be more efficient when
contracting a little slower.

how can we use this information in our training? would one-legged squats hit the hamstrings more than the quads and be more beneficial to sprinting??

I’d like to see the EMG data or whatever that suggests this.

No, but one leg hops for speed would probably do it and ham strength work with an accentuation towards fast concentric actions with a pause between reps would also do it. Heavy eccentric weights eg lowering a heavy weight but fast concentric would also do it. Avoiding fatigue in sets of ham work IF you are aiming to develop efficiency would also do it. If you are looking for speed-strength as opposed to strength/strength endurance then intra rep pauses between reps would also help so doing an explosive ham curl with (hip involvement) then resting for approx six seconds then another rep and so on will improve efficiency of hams.

Form dictates function…
Bosch and Klomp (2005) wrote that hams, calfs are more pennate muscles bi-articular more suited for reactive work and energy trnasfers (isometrical), while glutes and quads are more parallel and uniarticular suited for concentric explosive actions.
The more the ‘elastic’ jump, the more the contribution from hams and calfs… the deeper the jump and slower, the greater the contribution of quads and glutes.

Kelly Bagget wrote whole book (Vertical Jump Bible) describing these two styles of jump(ers): elastic and strong, evaluating athletes and planning training according the their pro’s and con’s. Recommended reading, alomng with Bosch and Klomp - Running Biomechanics and Physiology in practice.

DUXX!!! I was hoping you would jump in here. :slight_smile: But let me be the dummy and ask you to “please explain” in more basic (or more commonly understood) terms what you have so concisely stated in the bold copy … coz I’m not sure I understand what you just wrote here :o

Isn’t it : “Form Follows Function”

yes, the original text is from Kelly’s mostly excellent ebook. A lot of his advice could have come directly from a track and field coaching manual.

i think this is fairly well understood, both because of the FT composition and the directionality of the fibre, particularly in the hams.

It is hard to explain the terms in a short post! My advice to you is to get the book (Bosch and Klomp)-it is one of the brightest books I have ever read. It explains it all :slight_smile:
The whole story is that every mucle is built to have specific role in human motion. Altought muscles can function in various ways (hams are build to function reactively, but you can do the ham curls), the greater the speed of execution, the more muscle work according to their specialized structure. Bosch and Klomp explained this with their ‘Centrifuge model’ (p.349).
They suggested generalized classification of the muscles:
Concentric-explosive muscles

  • Monoarticular (cross one joint)
  • Paralle fibered
  • Positive work/power training
  • Greater ROM of force production (flatter the F-L relation)
  • gluteus maximus, iliopsoas, vastus segments of quadriceps.
  • ‘Dumb’ muscles

Reactive-elastic muscles

  • Bi-articular (cross more than one joint, 2)
  • pennate structure
  • important passive structures (tendons, fascia…)
  • Working reactivelly (SSC - stretch shortening cycle)
  • Able to asorb and process external force
  • Suited for ‘isometrical work’ (narrow F-L relation) - Isometry and pre-contractions are pre-requisites for ‘elasticity’, making the CE elemnt stiff and enabling the muscle to utilize SE (serial elements - tendons and ‘stuff’)
  • erector spinae, hamstrings, triceps surae, rectus femoris, abdominal muscles
  • ‘Inteligent muscles’ - need more effort and coordination to be used effectivelly

‘Naturally this is arough division. In reality, muscles are flexible and can have properties of both groups. However, this diviosion into two groups is usefull in practice, particulary when organizing training program’ (B&K, p.350).

I think I get the following ‘wisdom’ form Novachek review paper. Since the kinetical and potential energyes are in phase, compared to walking (inverted pendulum), in running to insure movement eficeincy, human body must rely on two other mechanisms:

  • Elasticity
  • Energy transfers between joints

According to B&K, our understanding of muscles is/was being dominated by our model that muscles only overcome resistance… but this is only part of the story. Actually, the function of the muscle is more comphenesive:

  • Overcomming resistance (force/power generation)
  • Pre-stretching elastic tissues
  • Energy transfer
  • Facilitiation of other muscles by stressing them eccentrically

To explain you energy transfer of bi-articual muscles in short, take for this for example. The quads extend the knee, but since hams spans both the hip and knee, if the hams maintain their length (isometrics) like a stiff rope, they will ‘transfer’ force and thus energy from knee extension to hip extension. Or in other word, knee extension will produce hip extension. This ‘energy transfer’ hapens with all bi-acricualr muscles.

Facilitiation of other muscles by stressing them eccentrically is another interesting stuff.
During the push-of phase in acceleration phase of sprinting, the most power is generated by glutes and quads. Since gluteus maximus produces both hip extension and external rotation of the hip, torsion of the trunk and usage of the arm swing will produce the internal rotation of the hip of the stance leg and thus ‘elongate’ the gluteus maximus and this will in turn, according to F-V law reduce the contraction speed of the gluteus maximus which will in turn enable it to produce more force into the ground.

One another ‘amaizing phenomena’ is the muscle distribution in the body. During running, about 80% of energy is utilized to accelerate/deccelerate body segments. To improve body efficiency, the ammount of mass in distal segment should be reduced (this will reduce ‘moment of inertia’). This is why calf muscles are bi-articual (gastrocs) and pennate which allow the to create greater isometrical force for the same muscle mass compared to parallel fibered muscles. To enable energy transfer from hip and knee extension toward foot extension (tripple extension), calfs function reactivelly/isometrically and transef force from more powerful muscles around knee and hip. This mechanism at the same time reduces moment of inertial (distal muscle mass) and increase power of ankle extension. Amazing!

This is all from this amazing book.

I guess you could digest this short post :smiley:

Got it. Thanks Duxx

SERIOUSLY though, that’s one of the most interesting and revelatory posts I’ve read. Thanks for putting so much effort into your reply. Duxx indeed. :cool:

Wouldn’t that mean the hamstrings would be limited to the quadriceps ability then…or else thw quadriceps would be torn?

Thats why the hamstrings have a great ability to relax and the timing and co-ordination is key as they span two joints (as mentioned before). If the hammies mis time due to slow contractions, due to fatigue or spasm then thats when you get injuries.

This is why B&K calls bi-articular mucles ‘intelligent’ and uni-articular muscles ‘dumb’!
To use ‘intellinget’ muscles you must have good POSTURE, COORDINATION and TIMING of their activity.

I put this just as an example. The story may be reversed: the hams and glutes produce powerfull hip extension, while rectus femoris (also biarticular muscle), ‘stiffens’ (pre-contraction) and transmit energy form hip extension to knee extension…
The whole point is that to use ‘intelligent’ muscles apropriatelly and thus increase performance and avoid injury, as martn76 have pointed out, you must increase its timing and coordination (wholistic aspect) and not just increase its power as with ‘dumb’ muscles (isolational movement, reductionism etc).

When we add another stuff in this complex story the thing becomes even more complex and more interesting — that stuff is FASCIA and some new ideas from ‘Anatomy Trains’ (living matrix, second CNS…) - which I havent read yet :slight_smile:

Thanks KitKat :o :slight_smile: .
I hope I ‘pay you back’ just a part for your revelatory posts on training!

“This is why B&K calls bi-articular mucles ‘intelligent’ and uni-articular muscles ‘dumb’!
To use ‘intellinget’ muscles you must have good POSTURE, COORDINATION and TIMING of their activity.”

so does that mean the only way to train the “intelligent” muscles coordination and timing for there activity is to actually go and do that activity?

no that just means that they are best trained with movements and methods which require the same motor patterns.

ok so squats, deads, cleans?

its not only the excercise but how its done. in my training i only use the following movments: squat, lunge, pushup/bench press, deadlift, gluteham raises, and a handful of other delt raises and rows. that makes up 99% of all the movements i do but the method and the bimechancis of the movement are what matters, and what will transfer to athletics.

Great summary of very important points made by Bosch and Klomp,thank yoy Duxx!

Martn76 wrote:

Basically Prof Wiemann has discovered that max strength and power training are less effective for improving speed compared to bodybuilding or hypertrophy training.

Force training for the Sprintlauf

Project manager: Professor Dr. Klaus how/as man
in co-operation with Prof. Dr. Guenter Tidow ,
Humboldt university Berlin

Short characterisation of the project:

In connection with the project shortened titles “Sprint” became i.e. over several years experimental groups in different sequence with different force training forms,

  • cross section training,
  • training for neural activation and
  • time-controlled high-speed force training
    for the Hueftbeuge and Hueftstreckmuskulatur treats (per training form in each case over one time interval from 3 to 4 weeks) and the effect on the speed in the short print examines. As substantial findings it had to be stated that against the past lehrmeinungen cross section training (hypertrophy/bodybuilding) quite led to an improvement of the Sprintleistung, which made training of the neural activation against it the performance increase won by cross section training again destroyed. From these findings large consequences are derived regarding the examination of the effect of the force training and its employment in the achievement sport.

Detailed report: (in preparation)

Motion analysis, achievement diagnosis and
Training optimization of the Sprints

Project manager: Professor Dr. Klaus how/as man
in co-operation with Prof. Dr. Guenter Tidow ,
Humboldt university Berlin

Coworker: Dr. Thomas Joellenbeck

Short characterisation of the project:

On the basis of the acceptance that the Hueftstreckmuskeln produces the substantial propulsion with the Sprint, elektromyografische analyses of German sharpening printer were accomplished. The findings represented the basis for the development of force training equipment for the sprintrelevante musculature, which is applicable both for the achievement diagnostics and for a purposeful Sprintkrafttraining.

Detailed report:

  1. A goal of the main point of research
    The goal of the available main point of research is appropriate of conceiving on the basis of a correction of the tradierten biomechanical and functional-anatomical conceptions over the technique example and requirement profile in the Sprintlauf an equipment which can make both the diagnosis of the leistungsniveaus and the controlling of the adaptation processes for an achievement optimization in the demand sector for strength and high-speed strength possible in the Sprintlauf.

  2. Development of the main point of research
    Basis of the available main point of research is the problem in the function of two-articulated muscles. The project manager led for the first time 1989 already the?LOMBARDsche paradoxon for a long time well-known in biology ", which mentioned that two-articulated muscles can exercise two completely contrary functions on one of the joints - depending upon mechanical situation -, affected by them, in sport anatomy and the training and movement motion and would apply it to bend muscles of the thigh, so-called ischiokruralen muscles. The thesis proceeded from the assumption the fact that if the leg of the sportsman stands firmly on the soil, which ischiokruralen muscles apart from a stretching effect on the hip joint additionally also has a stretching effect on the knee joint, although this muscles in sport anatomy generalized as knee bend muscles is considered. As the further consequence it was concluded that ischiokruralen muscles due to them attributed the impact those muscles must be, which are considerably in the production of acceleration and the maintenance of the speed involved in the Sprint [ down load of the complete contribution ]

First achievement-diagnostic collections at a contingent of German Sprinter of the top class and experimental investigations - promoted by research means of the Federal institut for sport science - could confirm this acceptance [ down load of the complete contribution ]

After initial meeting with hostility from the camp of sport anatomy and the training science representatives of the training teachings of the Sprintlaufes, who regarded to kneeling kneel musclekneeling muscles so far excluding as propulsion-producing, were correct the thesis only zoegerlich for the time being too. In the meantime this concept is accepted as basis for training planning in the Sprintbereich of the German Leichtathletikverbandes. 1994 were developed at the Bergi university University of Wuppertal - in co-operation with Professor Dr. G. Tidow, Humboldt Humboldt-Universitaet Berlin - force training equipment for the Sprintlauf, converted with its construction the principles, which result from the new thesis.
Training experiments, which followed in the following years, could supply first results for the effectiveness of the trainingsgeraetes.

  1. Findings
    In the context of the achievement diagnostics correlates at the Sprintkraft sprintkraft-Trainingsgeraet tested the maximum force of the Hueftstreckmuskeln with the Sprintzeit (30m flying) with r = -0.45, the maximum force of the Hueftbeugemuskeln with the Sprintzeit with r = - 0,6. A 12-woechiges force training at the Sprintkraft sprintkraft-Trainingsgeraet improves the Sprintzeit (30m flying) around approximately 0.08 s. of the force training methods which were used at the Sprintkrafttrainingsgeraet (1st cross section method, 2. Method of the neural activation, 3. High-speed force method) proved the cross section method for the improvement of the Sprintzeit most effectively, while the method of the neural activation eliminated the Sprintleistung not improved and/or the performance increase won by the cross section method again.

  2. Continuation of the project
    Starting from the training period 97/98 that-print-strength-training-turned out at the olympia base Dortmund under scientific support of the project manager and its working group/research centre is used and the transmission of the basic findings into the Traingsgestaltung Sprint of the high speed range is examined on a long-term basis.

  3. Publications to the research project

HOW/AS MAN, K. (1986): The muscle activity when running. Achievement sport, 4, 16, P. 27-31.
HOW/AS MAN, K. (1989): Ischiocruralen muscles with the Sprint. The theory of the leichtathletik, 27: 783-786 and 28: P. 816-818.

JOELLENBECK, T./COCK, K./HOW/AS MAN, K. (1990): Strength and stretch training ischiocruralen muscles for the improvement of the Sprintleistung. In: BRUEGGEMANN, g.-p./ruehl, J.K. (eds.): “Technics in athletics” - Cologne, 7.-9. June 1990. Conference proceedings, volume 2. Cologne: Sport and book bunch - edition sport: 479-485.

HOW/AS MAN, K. (1990): Paradoxes muscle actions with the Sprint - consequences for the Sprinttechnik. In: BRUEGGEMANN, g.-p./ruehl, J.K. (eds.): “Technics in athletics” - Cologne, 7.-9. June 1990. Conference proceedings, volume 2. Cologne: Sport and book bunch - edition sport, 470-478.

HOW/AS MAN, K. (1991): The function of the ischiocruralen musculature with the Sprint and the meaning for technique training. In: DAUGS/MECHLING/BLISCHKE/OLIVIER (Hrsg.): Sport-motor learning and technique training. Schorndorf: 270-274.

HOW/AS MAN, K. (1991): Specifying the LOMBARD paradox in the function ischiocruralen muscles with the Sprint. In: Sport science 4: 413-428. [ abstract ] [ down load ]

HOW/AS MAN, K. (1991): The function ischiocruralen muscles with the Sprint and the meaning for technique training. In: DAUGS, R. among other things. (Hrsg.): Sport-motor learning and technique training. International symposium Motorik AND MOVEMENT RESEARCH in Saarbruecken in August 1989, Schorndorf: S.270-274.

TIDOW, G./HOW/AS MAN, K. (1994): To the optimization of the Sprintlaufs - movement-analytic aspects. Achievement sport 5: 14-19.

TIDOW, G./HOW/AS MAN, K. (1994): To the optimization of the Sprintlaufs - achievement-diagnostic aspects and training-practical consequences. Achievement sport 6: 11-16.

HOW/AS MAN, K./TIDOW, G. (1994): The Adduktoren with the Sprint - so far neglects? The theory of the leichtathletik 7: 15-18 and 8: 15-18.

HOW/AS MAN, K./TIDOW, G. (1995): Relative activity OF hip and knee extensors in sprinting - implications for training. New Studies in Athletics, 1: 29-49. [ down load ]

HOW/AS MAN, K. (1995): MVC quotient in the Hueftbereich and Sprint. In: JUG, J./MINOW, h-J. (Hrsg): Sporty achievement and training. Sank Augustin. 263-267.

HOW/AS MAN, K. (1995): The ischiokrurale musculature. In: CARL, K./Quade, k/steal, P.(Hrsg.): Force training in the sport-scientific research.
Cologne. 84-119.