2017 August 2017 News Spring 2018

Does symmetry affect speed?

The New York Times covered SMU Locomotor Performance Laboratory researchers’ study of Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest human, that reveals the mechanics of his stride may vary between his right and left legs, upending conventional wisdom that an uneven gait slows down runners.

The New York Times reporter Jeré Longman covered the research of SMU biomechanics expert Peter Weyand and his colleagues Andrew Udofa and Laurence Ryan for a story about Usain Bolt’s apparent asymmetrical running stride.
The article, Something Strange in Usain Bolt’s Stride,” published July 20, 2017.
The researchers in the SMU Locomotor Performance Laboratory reported in June that world champion sprinter Usain Bolt may have an asymmetrical running gait. While not noticeable to the naked eye, Bolt’s potential asymmetry emerged after the researchers dissected race video to assess his pattern of ground-force application — literally how hard and fast each foot hits the ground. To do so they measured the “impulse” for each foot.
Biomechanics researcher Udofa presented the findings at the 35th International Conference on Biomechanics in Sport in Cologne, Germany. His presentation, “Ground Reaction Forces During Competitive Track Events: A Motion Based Assessment Method,” was delivered June 18.
Read more at SMU Research.

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