Leg Length for Sprinters

Wondering if there is a very strong correlation with sprinting success (WR, OR, etc.) and leg length? Is it possible for an athlete to have shorter legs and still be competitive (when I say this I mean that his upper body is longer)

i would curious about this also, mostly from an engineering standpoint. I remember reading an article a while back that found that a non-dimentional parameter of stride length/ leg length was a good predictor for an animal’s speed (with a few noted exceptions).

My intuition guesses that this probably is a bit too simplistic due to the important of stride fequency with sprinters. It is kind of like the use of models in a wind tunnel, the Reynolds # (proportional velocity) is the same, but the drag coefficient (non-dimentional drag) is way off due to unseen assumptions (usually surface roughness issues).

if anyone has those numbers, it would be interesting to see if there is a correlation…

PS: sorry about the fluids speak, i am in the middle of finals :slight_smile:

It would be interesting to have leg length numbers, only if they are measured in the same way. Where does the leg starts and finishes? Ground to which point? I have several numbers, but impossible make comparaison because of different methods.
I can still give you some stats for elite french sprinters:

name - 100/200m - body height - “enfourchure”
Daniel SANGOUMA 10.02/20.20 - 1.87 - 0.92
Antoine RICHARD 10.09/20.82 - 1.74 - 0.83
Gilles QUÉNÉHERVÉ 10.17/20.16 - 1.83 - 0.88
Éric PERROT 10.33/20.90 - 1.80 - 0.89
Guy DRUT 13.28 110mH - 1.89 - 0.92

No conclusions can be done with so few numbers.

Do you know how the mentioned sprinters legs were measured, or generally what are the different they are usually measured?

This numbers were found from the ground to the highest point between thighs, sorry i don’t know the english name for it. Other methods are ground to great trochanter (gives numbers > 1 meter, example 1.125m for Jean-Charles Trouabal 10.19/20.20 sprinter, BH 1.87). I have found 1.03 for Carl Lewis who is 1.88, don’t know what was the method.

hmm, i found the article again and it used the ratio of stride length to leg length rather than body height to leg length. I also did a priliminary curve fit to the data, and there really isn’t enough to tell. It still would be interesting to get a lot of data on this and see what the stats say. Is any up for this?

Donovan Bailey had VERY long legs and went 9.8 :slight_smile:

When asked about the ideal leg length, Abraham Lincoln said: “One that reaches from the hip to the ground!”

:cool: however i know some legs which don’t touch the ground…

i know what you guys mean. I think i am having homework withdrawl and want to crunch some numbers…better get back to studying for my last final (non-math/non-physics :frowning: )

Scand J. Sport Science 1983, Mero & Komi, A Biomechanical Study of the sprint start.

Mero and Komi collected data on leg lengths, fibre distribution , forces, kinematic variables. Subjects with shorter leg lengths had greater velocity of C.G in the first 2.5m. Researchers suggested that shorter legs may allow for greater acceleration because of less inertial forces and higher stride rate.

In the first 2.5m? big deal! Many other factors take part to CG velocity in the first 2.5m than leg length. I enjoy a lot reading Mero & Komi studies, but i suspect that some their studies would give different results with world class athletes.

Just out of interest. How many studies have been performed with world class athletes, and how willing are they usually to participate in studies??

Any of the current elite participated in any??

This would explain why you had such blinding acceleration when you were 13, Sharmer…

On that wet grass track…

25 male sprinters where used with pbs from 10.20 to 11.8. Subjects where divided into three groups according to mean C.G velocity at 2.5m. I would say 10.20 is world class, do you think it is?

I am currently doing my thesis on the vertical fall of the C.G in the sprint start and the relationship with leg stiffness. The range of subjects pb in my study are 10.29-11.8. In Australia currently our fasted runner is 10.29, does that mean the findings of my study are invalid because no world class athletes are used. The university provides around $ 30,000 funding for research grants in biomechanics. If the top 100m guys in the world where used then a budget of 1 million dollars wouldn’t be enough.

I’ll add some more data on limb lengths and start velocity when I have finished my thesis. If you are interested. ?

Neospeed your posts are waste of my time. Keep your moronic posts to yourself in the future as I have no interest in them.

As you said there was 1 sprinter at 10.20 among the 25 subjects, and the range is 10.20 to 11.8, which isn’t world class. 25 subjetcs with 10.20 average time is an other thing, and i would have called it world class.
Your study isn’t invalid, it’s very interested, but it’s not about World Class, and we won’t know if your conclusions are useful for world class athletes.
I’m interested in anything scientific to read about athletics, and especially sprints.

I love reading pierre Jean’s posts…

yeah, i was wondering about this too, but in a more broad sports/event spectrum. I think it would be safe to say that elite sprinters are on average above the 6’ range (which would result in longer legs, of course). What would be the “equivalent” of a 100m then for say, a 5’5 athlete? Where a 10 second time would be considered world class.