Monday, January 16, 2012

Using gravity to move forward. - Part I

There is a consistent hum on the internet about how it is impossible to move forward using gravity since gravity is a downward force. This logic is clearly flawed, or it would be impossible for inanimate objects to fall over without the assistance of an external force other than gravity. If it is possible to fall over because of gravity, then it is possible to move forward via gravity, but more on this later. To address this misunderstanding, I'm starting a series of posts on this subject. This first post is taken some Facebook and Twitter postings discussing this very topic.

I posted the the following on a Facebook page for Pose Coaches. I've edited it a bit for readability. Also I want to make it clear, that I'm not trying to be critical specifically of Pete Larson. His blog is full of great information about running, and he has a lot of very interesting ideas on the subject of running technique. Clearly I disagree with some of his ideas, but his blog is still one of my favorites, and I highly recommend it.


My post to Pose Coaches World Wide on Facebook

A couple of weeks ago I had an exchange on twitter with Pete Larson of Runblogger. Just for some context, I really dislike twitter, and I only use it out of necessity. Also, I have an unfortunate tendency jump into on-line discussions about Pose even when I know my efforts will be waste of time, and that is how this discussion got started. To be fair to Pete Larson, twitter is not even remotely suited for the exchange of complex ideas. However, I think this simple exchange, seems be indicative of a larger problem with communicating Pose theory to the masses. The concept that forces can be redirected using levers seems to be a complete mystery. 
Anyway here is the exchange from twitter (minus all the @ stuff).

Pete Larson:
The POSE method also lets you defy the laws of gravity :)

Me:
Falling over defies the laws gravity? My physics teacher has some explaining to do.

Pete Larson:
The POSE notion of gravity pulling you forward defies gravity. Gravity is a vertical force.

Me:
So when I do a face plant it's not the work of gravity? Interesting. I've move forward, how did it happen?

Pete Larson:
Yes, gravity acts vertically through your center of mass, straight downward.

It does not propel you forward. The only thing that is farther ahead is your head smacking the ground.

Me:
Exactly, how does that defy the laws of physics?

Pete Larson:
I've already said it, gravity is a vertical force, not a horizontal force. It propels you into ground, not forward.

But I've argued this point with enough POSE folks to know that I'm not going to change your mind. I'll leave it there.

Me:
I am really interested in understanding your ideas. Unfortunately twitter isn't a good forum for this.

Pose Coaches World Wide on Facebook (Some Responses)
 
Severin Romanov - I think the main concept that's misunderstood is that Dr. Romanov implies that Gravity does it's work through Gravitational Torque, for which he uses the equation of rotational movement, resulting in the horizontal displacement of the center of mass (equaling translational movement)

Severin Romanov - This is not rocket science, and the top biomechanists like Roger Bartlett, former editor of the biomechanics journal, are in complete agreement with Dr. Romanov

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