To Run Like a Cheetah, Get Stronger Thighs

Scientists study the world's fastest mammal
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2012 6:52 PM CDT
To Run Like a Cheetah, Get Stronger Thighs
A male African cheetah.   (Getty Images)

Scientists trying to figure out how cheetahs manage to run faster than any other mammal might have a few tips to pass along to human runners, reports the New York Times' Well blog. For one thing, build up those thighs. The cheetah has powerful upper legs, which allow them to pump faster than, say, a greyhounds' legs. (The two animals were compared in the experiment because they're similar in build, but wild cheetahs top out at 65mph and the dogs at 40mph. The fastest humans clock in around 28mph.)

Humans also might want to try light running shoes because "having less weight in the lower portion of the leg aids in swift repositioning," says the lead researcher. That's probably not mind-boggling advice for two-legged sprinters, but maybe the most interesting part of the experiment was about the big cats themselves. Scientists timed cheetahs from zoos and found that they reach speeds of about 40mph. It's only their wild brethren, maybe more used to galloping after dinner, that can hit 65mph. (Read more cheetah stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.