The aim of this study is to provide a quantitative analysis of shape changes of ankle cyclograms according to the specialization of sprinters (short or long distances). The experimental protocol consists of four sequences of 80-m sprints at maximal speed. The Procrustes superimposition of 40 cyclograms (four per individual) was completed by statistical procedures (principal component analysis, multivariate linear regression) to seek the kinematic variables likely to express the specialization effect. The results reveal a shape change of the cyclogram according to a continuum, from 60-m sprinters to 100-m, 200-m, and 400-m sprinters. The more the sprinter is specialized in short-distance running, the more spindle-shaped the cyclogram, irrespective of their velocity during the experiment. The results suggest that training (aimed at the effectiveness of the stride) played an essential role in the acquisition of specific coordination in order to meet effectively the requirements of each sprint speciality.
Bipedalism, Homo sapiens , Sprint, Kinematics, Ankle cyclogram, Procrustes superimposition, Multivariate regression