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Newton's Second Law

The acceleration of an object equals the net force acting on the object divided by the object’s mass.

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The Real Spiderman

The Real Spiderman

Credit: X
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Streetlife_Parkour.JPG
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

This young man is demonstrating the extreme sport of free running.

Amazing but True!

  • Free runners combine strength, balance, and a lot of nerve to gymnastically bound over whatever obstacles are in their path. They land hard against walls and jump long distances to the ground. How do they do it without breaking bones or at least feeling a lot of pain?
  • Credit: Neil Espina
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/peteker/6313571593/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Free runners have trained their bodies to handle the forces being exerted on their bodies [Figure2]


  • Physics has the answers. Before exploring the physics of free running, watch the amazing feats of a professional free runner in the following video. Pay special attention to how he lands on the ground and against walls.


Explore More

At the link below, explore the physics of free running. Then answer the questions that follow.

  1. Free runners jump long distances and land on the ground or a wall. How do they apply Newton’s second law to lessen the force of impact?
  2. How can free runners extend the time of impact when they land on the ground after jumping a long distance
  3. Why do free runners avoid landing on their heels?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: X; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Streetlife_Parkour.JPG; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Neil Espina; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/peteker/6313571593/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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