Analysis of the Choice of the Predominant Lead Leg in the 400 m Hurdles at the 13th World Athletics Championships Daegu 2011

José Luis López

Adrián García Fresneda

Carlos Alberto Cordente Martínez

Antonio Montoya Vieco

Pablo González Miguel

*Corresponding author: José Luis López del Amo jl.lopez@uvic.cat

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Cite this article

López del Amo, J. L., García Fresneda, A., Cordente Martínez, C. A., Montoya Vieco, A., & González Miguel, P. (2012). Analysis of the Choice of the Predominant Lead Leg in the 400 m Hurdles at the 13th World Athletics Championships Daegu 2011. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 110, 70-77.  https://dx.doi.org/10.5672/apunts.2014-0983.es.(2012/4).110.08

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Abstract

Objectives: to analyse use of either leg as the predominant lead leg by high level 400 m hurdlers. Method: this is a cross-sectional descriptive study. We studied all the 400 m hurdles races of the 72 participants (34 men and 38 women) at the 13th World Athletics Championships Daegu 2011 by recording video from the Daegu Stadium grandstand of the eighteen 400 m hurdles races run and subsequently performing analysis using the Kinovea 0.8.4 computer application. Results: by athletes, in the total men’s races the predominant lead leg was the left one at 63.6% (42 athletes) while it was the right leg in 34.8% of cases (23 athletes). Only in one case was there a balance between left and right. In the final the predominant lead leg for 75% or 6 of the athletes was the left one. As for women, the predominant lead leg was the left one at 48.6% followed by the right leg at 41.4% and 10% had a balance between the two. In the final, however, the predominant lead leg was the right one at 87.5% (7 athletes) compared to 12.5% for the left leg (just 1 athlete). Significant differences (p = 0.018) were found in the mean final time for men athletes depending on which their lead leg was. Conclusions: most athletes lead the hurdles with both left and right legs at some point in the race which means they need bilateral technical mastery. The leg most used to lead the hurdles is the left one, albeit to a lesser extent in the case of women. For the first time in a major competition, 7 of the 8 finalists had their right leg as their predominant leg.

Keywords: 400 m hurdles, athletics, biomechanics, lead leg, rhythmic structure.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Received: March 27, 2012

Accepted: June 7, 2012

Published: October 01, 2012