Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Running techniques....... 

Most trainers, doctors, and fitness enthusiasts have always recommended running with a heel strike as opposed to a toe (forefoot) strike when landing.  This is what my studies as a Personal Trainer taught me while learning proper frontside and backside running mechanics: you want as much flexion (flexing at the ankle, bending in the knees and creasing at the hips) when the leg travels forward, and as much extension (ankle pointed, hip and knee extension) when the leg goes behind you.

But.... New research shows that for some injury prevention, a "forefoot" strike is beneficial.  When people run without wearing shoes, they usually land with the forefoot and this leads researches to believe that's best..... so they tested it out a little further.

  • Knees, ankles, and the Achilles' tendon are the sites of most running injuries and when force was analyzed with female athletes during running, they found greater force (especially with the knees -- 16% more force produced!) with heel landings 
  • However.... striking with the ball of the foot could lead to tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, or a stress fracture 
So..... if you're not in pain, best not to switch your techniques.  If you can, have a coach or trainer watch you run and observe your technique.  Then, if you are having pain, see how best to alter to shift the pressure and force on the joints.  

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