Men With Larger Bums Make Better Athletes, Study Says
It’s official, bigger really is better – at least when it comes to the anatomy of an sprinter, as recent findings have suggested that having a bigger bottom is the key to success.
According to research conducted by Rob Miller, a PhD student at Loughborough University and strength and conditioning coach for British Athletics, and Professor Jonathan Folland, a leading expert in neuromuscular performance, having a larger gluteus maximus – that’s your bum – aids an athlete’s performance when sprinting.
The research studied a group of men ranging from elite sprinters, to sub-elite sprinters, to untrained sprinters. They discovered that the specificity of a man’s muscular makeup was key to his athletic performance when doing a 100-metre sprint.
Some muscles, such as the hip extensor muscle, were found to be much larger in the elite athletes compared to the sub and non-athletic types. In fact, they deduced that around 44% of the sprint time variables they recorded were down to the strength of the gluteus maximus.
The study measured 23 of the lower body muscles in 42 men – five elite athletes, 26 of those sub, and 11 who weren’t trained at all – and discovered that out of said variables, the backside muscles were 45% bigger; meaning, in layman’s terms, that having a bigger bum in sports is beneficial, according to the Guardian.
‘This is surprising because sprinting is thought to be influenced by many factors – technique, psychology, nutrition, anatomy of other structures – so to find a single muscle that alone seems so important, explaining nearly half the variability, is remarkable,’ Folland shared.
‘It appears that muscle size is more important for fast running than we thought and especially the size of the hip extensors and gluteus maximus,’ he continued. ‘The logical implication is that with a larger gluteus maximus the runner will be able to generate more power and therefore greater sprint speed.’
‘Thus, increasing the size of the gluteus maximus in particular, as well as the other hip extensor muscles, would be expected to improve sprint performance,’ Folland concluded.
Their findings, which were published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, look set to shape the future athletic training. Despite developing larger lower body muscles to enhance a sprinter’s physical performance was already fairly obvious, this new and specific discovery will no doubt revolutionise the way individuals train for attain maximum performance levels.
The research will now focus on female athletes to learn a greater insight into the secrets of their anatomical ability.
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