What makes Bolt the fastest man on the planet?

And where did the speed of the swing leg come from? The air?

You really think that Bolt is faster, or one reason he is faster than other, and previous world class sprinters, is because he has better spinal posture while running??

And power is an expression of strength.

You just described 99% of world class sprinters. Once again, you seriously think that Bolt’s technique is THAT much better than EVERY OTHER PERSON WHO HAS EVER SPRINTED??

Whether Bolt has a serious attitude or not in the weight room is irrelevant. What is relevant is that he is a large, muscular sprinter.

Usain Bolt, 20 second plus 200 meter:

Usain Bolt world record holder in multiple events:

Naive is believing the only difference between those two sprinters is their technique.

I distinctly remember saying that it has not got a lot to do with sprint technique drills.

Usain Bolt has the most lumber lordosis of any world class sprinter. This creates a very fast hip hyper-extension when you run. And with the length of his legs, he’s going to push off with a very fast velocity.

It is a combination of many things, and the above is just one of those things.

The width of his shoulders compared to the width of his hips is only matched by Asafa Powell. There are some other sprinters who’s hips are as narrow as Usains, but their skeletal shoulder width is not as great as his. There-for the ratio in Usain, is quite striking. Also, in ratio to his hieght, he has the narrowest hips of any sprinter. Andre Cason had narrower hips, but Andre Cason was not 6 foot 5 inches tall.

He has the best skeletal proportions in terms of the ratio. Now, if a 5 foot 7 inch sprinterhad similar ratio’s as Usain, they wouldn’t be far behind in their speed (assuming all other elements were in place - such as a great training method.)

Yes, he has muscular deltoid muscles, and does not show much cross-sectional mass in other places. This might suggest that the deltoid muscles may be the most important upper body muscles on a sprinter.

Whatever core strength he displays in the gym, is probably quite high, when you take in to account that it is more difficult for a tall person to give high scores in core strength tests in the gym.

Also, I bet he has larger psoas muscles than allmost any sprinter in the world. If not, all of them.

His arm swing helps to increase vertical forces because his arms are long, and has the shoulder muscularity to deal with it.

Usain Bolt!

Seriously… Limb length, Being 6’5 inches tall coupled with explosive hip flexors & his “core” strength is probably off the rocks, are his secrets.

I think that Usain Bolt’s technique is just as responsible for his extra long stride length if not more so than his height.

PJ showed that his stride length to height ratio is almost identical to all top sprinters, not more, not less.

He more efficient than the opposition.

First of all, would this make my hypothesis false? Secondly, does a negative correlation exist between height and stride frequency?

I understand the SL/BH ratio for guys in the 9.86 or faster range. A few questions:

  1. Has anyone looked at SL/BH ratios for various segments of the 100m ( 0-30, 30-60, 60-100)?

  2. Has anyone looked at women in this regard?

  3. Has anyone looked at average sprinters at the various levels of the sport in this regard?

Where did PJ post this? Is the dataset publically available?

Yes. Usain Bolt is 1.96 and his stride length was 2.71 in the 40-80m section during the 9.58. A group of men between 9.71-9.86 has 2.49m stride length, for a body height of 1.81. That’s 1.38 SL/BH ratio for Bolt and the other guys.

Griffith-Joyner 10.61 - 1.35
Jeter 10.64 - 1.36
Jones 10.70 - 1.28
Arron 10.73 - 1.39
Fraser 10.73 - 1.36
(wind-legal and low altitude marks, SL for 40-80m segment).

Yes. Ratio decreases with level of performance.

  1. How measurable is technical efficiency? If that’s the resulting running velocity, then Bolt is the best.
  2. Yes, the correlation coefficient between SL and SF is -0.97 for 56 sub 10.00 sprinters.

It would make the premise(s) which you base your hypothesis on false, so yes, it would make it false since it is by definition on a false premise.

Thanks PJ. That clears alot up.

That’s a pretty strong correlation. I’d be curious how do the british sprinters ratios hold up? They are on the brink of sub 10.

That’s a strong negative correlation. -0.97 means the longest the stride length, the shorter the stride frequency, and vice-versa.


What do you feel is the value, from an influence on program design standpoint, of the SL/BH ratio?

The paradox is whereas SL and SF have negative relationship, both increase with higher running speed level of performance.
Therefore, from a program design standpoint, one should observe and analyse the current situation for a given athlete and set goals. SL and SF vary over the course of 100m race, and are improved at different levels. However, SF improvement should be geared toward shorter ground contacts as poor and good performers have similar flight time but different ground contact times.
Individualised plans are needed, because you can’t build an athlete from a model, Gatlin has a ratio of 1.46 and Montgomery 1.28, that’s a huge difference for a same running speed, and those extreme numbers are not a good guide for monitoring a developping athlete. Montgomery only improved his SF over the years, while Gatlin improved both SF and SL (mostly SL though). These obervations are not enough to guide the coach.

The fear is always a misunderstanding of what’s going on with the top guy.
In this case, some of the British coaches wanted to emulate Bolt’s stride length as the “answer”, thinking Williamson should go to 41 strides when he’s much shorter than Bolt. That just will never work out well and the farther into the race you go, the worse it will get, hence better 60m than 100m results for W.
The best bet generally is the use a program that works on all aspects without predetermination and let things sort themselves out for the individual, as PJ says.

It seems like there is always a tendency to analyze the biomechanics of the top performers and then retroactively use that as the basis for a deliberate training plan for other athletes, despite the fact the training program of that top performer was not self-consciously designed with those biomechanical parameters in mind, that’s simply what fell into place as a result of properly progressed training and the athlete’s body structure.