Gender Differences

Gender Differences

Prior to age 9-10 years, growth in boys and girls is generally the same, then girls start their adolescent growth spurt around age 11 and boys around 13.

Generally females, on average, are about 2/3rds as strong as males. In endurance sports females are usually around 10% below their male counterparts.

For running, females have relatively :
• higher percentage of body fat
• greater pelvic width and obliquity of the femur
• shorter leg length, stride length and faster stride rate
• greater vertical displacement of the body
• achilles tendon tends to be shorter (maybe result of shoe heel heights)
• shorter duration of support and higher take off angle resulting in greater vertical velocity
• lower capacity for elastic energy storage
• smaller heart, lower diastolic and systolic pressure, smaller lungs, smaller thoracic cavity, smaller stroke volume  lower V02max.

The female foot:
Assumed to have a wider forefoot relative to heel region and narrower overall than a male foot  athletic footwear will need a different shaped last. Many running shoes now come made on a ‘female’ last.

It has been shown that the female foot is not just a ‘scaled down’ version of the male foot, but that they differ in a number of shape characteristics – especially arch shape, the lateral side of the foot, the great toe, and the ball of the foot .

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