This paper discusses the key findings of the assessment of an elite athlete’s body composition and reaction time to understand how fastest runners accelerate. Previously published research has shown that sprinters have longer fascicles (fiber bundles) in their calf muscles that may permit those muscles to do more work. Enhanced power generation would help a sprinter to reach top speed quickly from a standing start. In the current study, measurements of tendon lever arm were made using a well-established but indirect technique called the tendon excursion method. The ultrasound scans showed that the athlete’s Achilles tendon excursion was only about half of what the research team had earlier seen in similar measurements made in relatively nonathletic graduate student volunteers for the same joint rotation. This meant that rather than being abnormally large, the wide receiver’s Achilles tendon lever arms were substantially smaller than normal. The same strange observation was made for athlete’s right as well as the left legs. A nonathlete that was tested was found to have tendon excursions that were much larger and consistent with what researchers had measured before.

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