Sprint start kinetics of amputee and non-amputee sprinters
This study looks at the forces applied to the starting blocks, including strategies applied by persons with lower limb amputations aiming for maximum speed over 100 meter sprint. Compensation force applied through the contralateral limb was greater in persons with a transfemoral amputation compared to those with a transtibial amputation, while the force generated on the prosthetic side was lower. Running specific prosthetics do not replicate the push off kinematics of the non-amputee but can better imitate functionality in the constant speed phase.
In the 100 meter sprint, the athlete generates approximately 1/3 of their maximal velocity during block push off. To create acceleration in this phase, horizontal force application is key, teamed with high extension moments and power from the lower extremity.
It was noted that, where one prosthetic limb was used, this was placed in the rear block out of preference, although in the non-disabled dataset, the back foot forces were seen to be more crucial to the acceleration. However, overall a high average force (across front and back block) is of upmost importance.
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> From: Willwacher et al., PLoS One 11 (2016) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.