Shoulder rotation and stride length


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Shoulder rotation and stride length

Postby pinoyathletics » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:28 pm

From the authors of the controversial 'Why Should I drag my toe article?", Coach Adarian Barr and 400m runner Allyson Bodenbach comes another article this time its on Shoulder rotation.

A friend of mind told me in the gym how Alyson Felix and Usain Bolt where applying shoulder rotation. And he said it felt stupid when he experiminted with this while walking but he seemed to cover more ground using less energy.

http://pinoyathletics.com/2012/09/27/shoulder-rotation-and-stride-length/
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Re: Shoulder rotation and stride length

Postby cladthin » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:48 pm

It is a concept that is rarely mentioned but nothing new, really. Still, since it's not often discussed, it does deserve some mention. If the shoulders are locked either by not permitting rotation, not allowing the arms to move towards the mid-line or in a shrugged position, the hips cannot rotate either. Charlie Francis spoke of this concept and I think it came in part from some research done by Peter McGinnis of the USOC-at least the concept about hip rotation. The hips will rotate due to the action-reaction relationship of shoulder rotation/arms moving up and in towards the center or mid-line of the torso. Getting full hip rotation during a sprint stride in this manner is said to provide a slight increase to the stride length yet, more importantly, at no cost or loss to stride frequency if it is so. For 100m the extra stride length would provide an additional (if I am recalling these specifics correctly) 1.1m total of stride length over the entire race (certainly not per stride!) or a slight reduction in the total number of strides-at least fractionally.
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Re: Shoulder rotation and stride length

Postby Marlow » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:18 pm

cladthin wrote:Getting full hip rotation during a sprint stride in this manner is said to provide a slight increase to the stride length

'Conventional wisdom' (as least in my experience) has been that any crossing the body in full sprint is detrimental to overall speed, but
a. I never knew the reasoning
b. I don't try to over-correct a sprinter who does it a little as part of a natural gait.
c. I do correct sprinters who bring their arms ACROSS their bodies as young females often do.

So what they're saying here is that a little crossing promotes hip rotation which lengthens the stride a little? I'm looking at elite sprint videos and I don't see much crossing at all.
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Re: Shoulder rotation and stride length

Postby cladthin » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:43 pm

Marlow wrote:
cladthin wrote:Getting full hip rotation during a sprint stride in this manner is said to provide a slight increase to the stride length

'Conventional wisdom' (as least in my experience) has been that any crossing the body in full sprint is detrimental to overall speed, but
a. I never knew the reasoning
b. I don't try to over-correct a sprinter who does it a little as part of a natural gait.
c. I do correct sprinters who bring their arms ACROSS their bodies as young females often do.

So what they're saying here is that a little crossing promotes hip rotation which lengthens the stride a little? I'm looking at elite sprint videos and I don't see much crossing at all.


Not crossing the mid-line but only allowing the hands/arms to come right to the mid-line of the torso-hands to chin or even eye level but also with hands just in just in front of the chin. You do see virtually every elite sprinter do this to a degree (that is their arms move at least towards the center) though some don't quite make it to the mid-line. There are some sprinters who move their arms with a much less pronounced movement toward the mid-line e.g. Tyson Gay. Gay's arms move only slightly inwards it seems-at least in some of the videos of him I've seen. As you say, females tend to cross the mid-line moreso than males and this is due, I believe, to the Q-angle/greater hip width.

I should add that the hip rotation action is apparently only relevent when in a fully upright sprinting position or nearly so and it's not something that can occur to any signficant degree during starting/acceleration. The illustration I have by Francis says for an elite sprinter it occurs for approx. 29 strides for 100m and only minimally so prior to the achieving the sprint position.
Last edited by cladthin on Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shoulder rotation and stride length

Postby j-a-m » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:28 am

cladthin wrote:Getting full hip rotation during a sprint stride in this manner is said to provide a slight increase to the stride length yet, more importantly, at no cost or loss to stride frequency if it is so.

Interesting; would've thought you lose at least some in stride frequency.
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Re: Shoulder rotation and stride length

Postby cladthin » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:31 am

j-a-m wrote:
cladthin wrote:Getting full hip rotation during a sprint stride in this manner is said to provide a slight increase to the stride length yet, more importantly, at no cost or loss to stride frequency if it is so.

Interesting; would've thought you lose at least some in stride frequency.


Yes, one would think that if you increase the stride length that the frequency must decrease but it was stated that no such loss would occur if full hip rotation is achieved.
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Re: Shoulder rotation and stride length

Postby Conor Dary » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:59 am

cladthin wrote:
j-a-m wrote:
cladthin wrote:Getting full hip rotation during a sprint stride in this manner is said to provide a slight increase to the stride length yet, more importantly, at no cost or loss to stride frequency if it is so.

Interesting; would've thought you lose at least some in stride frequency.


Yes, one would think that if you increase the stride length that the frequency must decrease but it was stated that no such loss would occur if full hip rotation is achieved.


Stated where?

I guess Bolt didn't get the memo. Watch his race, he has almost zero shoulder rotation.
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Re: Shoulder rotation and stride length

Postby cladthin » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:02 am

Conor Dary wrote:
cladthin wrote:
j-a-m wrote:
cladthin wrote:Getting full hip rotation during a sprint stride in this manner is said to provide a slight increase to the stride length yet, more importantly, at no cost or loss to stride frequency if it is so.

Interesting; would've thought you lose at least some in stride frequency.


Yes, one would think that if you increase the stride length that the frequency must decrease but it was stated that no such loss would occur if full hip rotation is achieved.


Stated where?

I guess Bolt didn't get the memo. Watch his race, he has almost zero shoulder rotation.


Stated where? Read above, Francis and McGinnis.

Bolt absolutely does rotate his shoulders. No, not in a huge way but it does occur and his elbow does slightly clear the trunk which is an indication of this occurring. Also, his arm action moves towards the mid-line which is not going to happen without some rotation which is seen. The shoulder rotation is important as it permits or initiates, to a degree, hip rotation (as does mobility of the hip) though it won't move to the degree noticed with the hips-smaller limbs, less total mass, smaller ROM.
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Re: Shoulder rotation and stride length

Postby Conor Dary » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:49 am

cladthin wrote:

Stated where? Read above, Francis and McGinnis.


That is really swell.
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Re: Shoulder rotation and stride length

Postby indigo » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:28 am

cladthin wrote:It is a concept that is rarely mentioned but nothing new, really. Still, since it's not often discussed, it does deserve some mention. If the shoulders are locked either by not permitting rotation, not allowing the arms to move towards the mid-line or in a shrugged position, the hips cannot rotate either. Charlie Francis spoke of this concept and I think it came in part from some research done by Peter McGinnis of the USOC-at least the concept about hip rotation. The hips will rotate due to the action-reaction relationship of shoulder rotation/arms moving up and in towards the center or mid-line of the torso. Getting full hip rotation during a sprint stride in this manner is said to provide a slight increase to the stride length yet, more importantly, at no cost or loss to stride frequency if it is so. For 100m the extra stride length would provide an additional (if I am recalling these specifics correctly) 1.1m total of stride length over the entire race (certainly not per stride!) or a slight reduction in the total number of strides-at least fractionally.


I agree. One of the secrets to reaching 13 strides in the 400H. Many pictures of Edwin Moses catch him in this position.
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Re: Shoulder rotation and stride length

Postby Lord_Zanus » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:42 pm

In order to see the extent of the shoulder rotation the torso would have to be completely stationary. But since there's so much force being exerted on the runners body, that's not going to happen. While the runners arm is being pulled forward, the torso to an extent is also going to be moving in that direction. Which limits the visible contrast needed to outright say that the arm is moving towards the center line. However you can still see the result of that movement in other areas of the torso and arms.
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Re: Shoulder rotation and stride length

Postby Conor Dary » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:57 pm

    Whether or not core stability is directly related to shoulder rotation is something that coaches will debate over for years to come, but unfortunately our likely source of information, scientists, aren’t always our best answers to our questions. In the past scientists have said that it was impossible to run under a four-minute mile and running faster than 9.69 seconds in the 100m dash was out of the question. However, athletes around the world have been breaking barriers left and right proving scientists wrong.

When someone writes something as silly as that, well good luck....
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