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  • on Kenyan "elasticity" [split]

    I'm not sure they actually meant to say this but they did:

    Originally posted by Sport Science
    The most recent study investigating the fascinating dominance of East African distance runners has found that Kenyan athletes have more elastic calf muscles than non-athletic whites.
    :roll:

  • #2
    Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

    They probably 'meant' to say:
    all non-athletic Kenyans have more elastic calf muscles than athletic whites

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

      Originally posted by Daisy
      They probably 'meant' to say:
      all non-athletic Kenyans have more elastic calf muscles than athletic whites
      PC police on the way!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

        Originally posted by Marlow
        Originally posted by Daisy
        They probably 'meant' to say:
        all non-athletic Kenyans have more elastic calf muscles than athletic whites
        PC police on the way!
        What does "elastic calf muscle" mean? Is it something anatomical? I never heard the term.
        "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
        by Thomas Henry Huxley

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

          Originally posted by Pego
          Originally posted by Marlow
          Originally posted by Daisy
          They probably 'meant' to say:
          all non-athletic Kenyans have more elastic calf muscles than athletic whites
          PC police on the way!
          What does "elastic calf muscle" mean? Is it something anatomical? I never heard the term.
          I doubt it's a medical or anatomical term - they just made it up to differentiate between . . . say, a teenager's muscle (more pliant) and mine (less pliant).

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

            For what it's worth, here is a summary of their measurements and conclusions.

            • The researchers compared ten international level Kenyan runners to 10 non-trained white males, matching them for height.
            • The participants performed a maximum hopping drill which isolates, to some extent, the contribution made by the calf muscles and Achilles tendon.
            • They measured various anthropometric outcomes (achilles tendon length, for example), and kinematic outcomes, like power, contact time, and rebound height.
            • The full list of what was measured in shown the table below, and I've highlighted in yellow the key differences between the Kenyan and white participants.

            To summarize, the Kenyans have:
            • Longer Achilles tendons
            • Shorter contact times during hopping
            • Longer flight time• Greater rebound height
            • Greater jumping powerAll in all, it's a picture of compelling and significant differences between the Kenyan and white athletes, and points towards greater elasticity in the Kenyan calves.

            http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/20 ... elasticity
            By the way, the writer of the guardian article, Ross Tucker, does a good job of critiqing the work.

            What the study is NOT, however, is any kind of proof of what makes Kenyan runners so good compared to European/Caucasian runners.

            And herein lies the catch. When performing a comparison between two groups like this, it's very important to know what you have to match. And if you don't match the groups correctly, then the conclusions you reach will be entirely misdirected, and this is what I would suggest is happening in this research study.

            To illustrate, the authors make the following conclusion in the paper:

            "the Kenyan MG muscle–tendon unit is optimized to favor efficient storage and recoil of elastic energy".

            However, you could just as easily have concluded as follows:

            "The muscle tendon unit of highly trained, international caliber athletes, is optimized to favor efficient storage and recoil of elastic energy when compared to people who are inactive and untrained"

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

              Originally posted by Daisy
              For what it's worth, here is a summary of their measurements and conclusions.
              • The researchers compared ten international level Kenyan runners to 10 non-trained white males, matching them for height.
              That ain't worth squat! Proves nothing. Of course elite TRAINED runners are more athletic than non-trained 'random' people! DUH!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

                As Tucker points out, Rupp and Solinksky will probably have elastic calves too. It's hard to imagine how this stuff gets through peer review. Obviously the experiment is interesting, but the controls and conclusions are completely flawed.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

                  Originally posted by Daisy
                  but the controls and conclusions are completely flawed.
                  which is true of ALL their 'studies' so far.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

                    Originally posted by Marlow
                    Originally posted by Daisy
                    but the controls and conclusions are completely flawed.
                    which is true of ALL their 'studies' so far.
                    There are more? :roll: Maybe they 'pay off' their reviewers?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

                      Originally posted by Daisy
                      There are more? :roll: Maybe they 'pay off' their reviewers?
                      Start on page 1 of this thread.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

                        Who is the their in 'their studies' you refer to? ESPN?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

                          Originally posted by Daisy
                          Who is the their in 'their studies' you refer to? ESPN?
                          I haff no effin idea. But yes, the show, SportsScience, is a figment of ESPN's fervid brain.

                          [plus I may be conflating another pseudo-science outfit that keeps foisting fundamentally bad science on the sporting public, not unlike the 'women's marathon WR will surpass the men's by 2060!.']

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

                            another pseudo-science outfit that keeps foisting fundamentally bad science
                            I think you'll find that all these flawed studies are independent.

                            It is possible there are a few groups that are notorious for flawed studies. I'm not really familiar with these journals, or the research groups in this field, so it is hard to say.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

                              Having spent time in graduate programs in a hard science like mathematics and a looser one like education, this reminds me of a lot of research I encountered in the latter. One comes up with a research topic. Then find some evidence that supports it, ignore everything else and voila a Paper to be published. The real problem with fields like sports science is even researchers who do creative and rigorous stuff -- that is, the best of them -- still seem to regularly come to conclusions that they started out with. Even if they are absurd to begin with such as women marathoners eventually running faster than men.

                              Comment

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