• Question: why does having long legs give you an advantage for running? or other athletic sports

    Asked by ciaraistall to Amylou, Maria, Mark L, Mark U on 21 Jun 2012.
    • Photo: Mark Uphill

      Mark Uphill answered on 21 Jun 2012:

      Hi chiaristall, there might be whats termed a biomechanical advantage (e.g., long limbs acting as levers and generating forces that shorter limbs may struggle with). However, most sports also require co-ordination/technique, endurance, perhaps tactics, and the “complete package” needs development. Usain Bolt I think is probably the tallest sprint world record holder, who’s to say that someone shorter may hold the record in another decade?

    • Photo: Amy Evans

      Amy Evans answered on 22 Jun 2012:

      Hi ciaraistall, Mark’s pretty much summed it up but also the lenghth of your legs can affect your gait or your ‘stride’ so the further you can travel on one stride with the help of your long legs, the fewer stride cycles you will need to run a set distance and this may be more energy efficient which gives you an advantage.