​ ​ Hurdling Over Science
by: Kallyn Lagro

How do the laws of motion effect hurdling?

Research:
NEWTON'S THIRD LAW OF MOTION:
When leaping over hurdles your body is working along side with science. Newton's third law comes into effect repeatedly as you run through your course. For instance, right before you take off to clear the hurdle your foot digs into the ground. The force you aply downward through your foot is the action force and the motion of your body moving upward and over the hurdle is the reaction force.
Note the positioning of the hurdlers' arms in coordinance to their legs. Also, remember to look for how the hurdler on the left is applying pressure through his foot in order to clear the hurdle.
Note the positioning of the hurdlers' arms in coordinance to their legs. Also, remember to look for how the hurdler on the left is applying pressure through his foot in order to clear the hurdle.
Another example of Newton's third law that applies to hurdling is the use of the hurdler's arms. As you swing your left arm forward your right leg is also pushed forward. This is the same if you swing your right arm in sync with your left leg. Each arm and leg pair is demonstrating equal and opposite reactions forces.

FORCES:
As your sprinting between hurdles you have a high amount of momentum. Your speed is increasing in relevance to your own mass. Even though you are not in the air for more than a few seconds you do have slight projectile motion. Once you clear the hurdle you start to fall downward toward earth very quickly. The force you are free falling with plus your curved path back down to the track is what makes your projectile motion greater.
FRICTION:
Friction is a big part of hurdling. The simplest way to increase friction is to wear track spikes when running your hurdle course. Spikes increase your friction which increases the amount of force you need in order to propel your body forward and over the hurdle. If your friction and force are both increased you are able to sprint between and clear each hurdle quicker.
Track spikes are specially designed for gaining friction while running track. Although the difference between spikes and normal gym shoes is not great, having the spikes makes a huge difference.
Track spikes are specially designed for gaining friction while running track. Although the difference between spikes and normal gym shoes is not great, having the spikes makes a huge difference.



In this short video you will see a hurdler clearing the hurdle in three steps. Watch for these science related movements:
-The relation between his arms and legs while running and clearing the hurdles.
-The pressure forced down through his foot resulting in the clearing of the hurdle.
-The relation between his momentum, speed, and freefall.

Note: The hurdler is not a proffessional and therefore does not have perfect form. See if based on the information above you can tell what is wrong with his form during this short stretch of hurdles.















Special thanks to google images and youtube for the featured pictures and videos!
Also thank you to the Superior Senior High track and field coaches for the included information.