What is the ‘Naruto Run?’
It seems essential to clarify one point before sharing this experiment with you, which is highly scientific in nature. Indeed, if you didn’t grow up with a passion for Japanese anime, it is unlikely that you know what the ‘Naruto Run’ is, also referred to as an 'Anime Run.'
This unusual way of running comes from the manga entitled Naruto, written and drawn by Masashi Kishimoto, one of the most famous authors of the genre. Within the Naruto story, all the ninjas, including the eponymous character, run with their arms dangling, almost floating backwards, as you can see in the video above.
This way of running has now spread far from its manga origins, and has found a place on the playgrounds of the world, and more recently as a meme on the internet.
Faster or an urban myth?
On his Because Science channel, Youtuber Kyle Hill took on the task of answering a question asked by millions of internet users: Can we really run faster using the 'Naruto Run?' Indeed, while the characters from the manga can travel the world at great speed, no top athlete has ever tried to reproduce this technique to take the lead in an actual race.
To put an end to the debate, Kyle Hill called upon American Jeneba Tarmoh, who was an Olympic champion in the 4x100m at the London Olympics in 2012.
After testing the two ways by running a short distance, the results were irrefutable: The ‘Naruto Run’ is only a myth, which will not help an athlete get to the top. In fact, stretching your arms backwards can cause you to lose up to 3% of your speed. So the mystery has finally been solved!