Usain Bolt Is Not The Perfect Runner

July 26, 2017

Last month, researchers at Southern Methodist University said they found something unexpected during video examination of the fastest sprinter in world history Usain Bolt’s stride: His right leg appears to strike the track with about 13 percent more peak force than his left leg. And with each stride, his left leg remains on the ground about 14 percent longer than his right leg.

 

This imbalance is due to Bolt accommodating for the effects of his scoliosis. The condition curved his spine to the right and made his right leg half an inch shorter than his left.

 

While many may think correcting the scoliosis would make him faster, correcting his asymmetry would NOT necessarily speed him up and might even slow him down. If he were to run symmetrically, it could be an unnatural gait for him.

 

Bolt is another prime example that structural imbalances within the body and "unnatural" curves within the spine do not necessarily mean an athlete can't be the best. Function is the main indicator of performance, not aesthetics. This is why I focus on getting patients to move better based on their natural body structure and not trying to change their structure to perform better.

 

 

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