I’ve been watching the videos of Ben, Flo-Jo, and Maurice intently for an hour now, generously supplied by people on this site, focusing on their first 30m. Through commentary on the site I’ve learned that Maurice’s methodical, gradual rising of the head to achieve “tall” status is considered textbook by many. So I’m suprised to watch Ben and Flo-Jo’s “popping up” and standing tall so quickly in their races-WAY quicker than Maurice it appears. Flo-Jo in slow motion looks like she is virtually upright in 4 to 5 steps! I’ve heard that Marion is similiar, though I have no video. Would this be considered simply “another way to skin the cat” and get results a different way as Charlie puts it? Or am I missing someting in these videos?
Flo Jo certainly doesn’t pop upright! Here is a gif of her first 40m in Seoul. She gradually comes up over this distance.
One thing to note is that she doesn’t use her head angle the same way as Mo, but the body certainly does gradually “lift” in a simlar way. Personally, I prefer the use of gaze and head angle to help control the gradual lift because once drilled it can help establish a more predictable race model and can also be a good teaching aid, but it is by no means essential as Flo Jo beautifully illustrates.
Also, note that the clip that someone made available on CF.com before was a little deceptive because of the camera angle.
Yeah, both my video angles were from the front and likely deceptive. She is angled even though her gaze is straight forward. In your side view her rise appears much more gradual. Are there any world-class sprinters who have been fast in spite of their tendency to pop-up?
I think we should remember that a sprinter’s forward lean can cease ONLY when they hit top speed. Positive acceleration requires the centre of gravity to be slightly displace in front of the body. When Flo-Jo set her world record, she started to top out her speed around 30m with .92s 10 metre splits indicating she was almost upright. Ben, on the other hand, didn’t run at .83s speed until about 50m. In Maurice’s best races (Edmonton, for example) he tops out around the same time as Ben.
So why is Maurice’s forward lean so distinct compared to Ben’s and, less importantly, Flo-Jo’s? Maurice’s bent neck creates the distinct illusion that his body leans far more than actually so. Also, It look’s to me that Maurice might have a shorter torso relative to his leg length than Ben. A shorter relative torso would need a few extra degrees of forward lean to displace the same mass. Any ideas?
Those videos are tough on the eyes to watch over and over, so I’m glad you guys see what I mean. Ben really doesn’t appear anywhere near as leaned over early in the race as Maurice and the comparison is interesting because they are both so stinkin’ fast. A thought: I’ve had bad knees and I know that I always am subconsciously avoiding using them hard while bent. Ben had bad knees and perhaps took pressure off of driving with his quads by standing up a little sooner? Maybe he got away with it because of freakish glute/ham[pulling] strength? Just wildly guessing!!