Do you run once in a while for health? Do you prepare for marathons and half marathons? Or maybe you are professional runners, competing in the highest level competitions? Regardless of which question you would answer 'yes', it is certain that you can run more efficientlyif you use a trick recently developed by scientists.
As the researchers explain in a new article published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, running by people is not very effective. This action consumes a lot of calories. Although only a part of these calories is used by moving legs, and the remaining amount is used, for example, to stabilize the body, maximizing the effectiveness of leg work alone can lead to serious optimization of the entire running process.
But how can you increase the efficiency of your legs? It turns out that it is enough … to connect both lower limbs with a suitable spring. This supposedly facilitates the movement of legs during running and reduces the amount of energy needed to perform this element of the discussed operation.
"In fact [the spring] reduces the effort needed to bounce off the ground while running.", said Eliot Hawkes, co-author of the study. "Normally people run at 90 steps per minute. If it were possible to take shorter, faster steps, less energy would be needed to bounce off the ground, but faster movement of the legs, in turn, increases energy consumption, so naturally we don't run that way. However, the spring reduces the amount of energy needed to move the legs, so you can easily take 100 steps per minute, also reducing the amount of energy needed to bounce. "
Source: Cara Welker, Cole Simpson / Journal of Experimental Biology
Researchers' experiments with runners showedthat this spring is easy to get used to, so it shouldn't interrupt you for too long while running. In addition, after removing the spring, the runners did not have problems with traditional running.
You probably wonder how much energy saving can be achieved by using a spring. Scholars say that we are talking about reducing energy consumption at an average of 6.4 percent. This value seems small, but its importance for long distance runs can be huge.
We are curious whether the new scientists' trick will find interest and application outside of their laboratory. We'd really like to see him in action.
Source: Journal of Experimental Biology