Biomechanics of Running

Posted by Brendan Hill on Monday, August 11, 2014


The phases of running are similar to walking (top image). The stance phase is divided into contact, midstance and propulsion. The swing phase is divided into follow-through, forward swing and foot decent. Whereas walking is the alternative placement of one foot in front of the other separated by periods when both feet are in contact with the ground, during running there is a flight phase when ne
ither foot is in contact with the ground between stance phases.

In slower, longer running, the stance phase is of longer duration than the flight phase. As running speed increases, stance phase and flight phase times approach each other until the stance phase becomes shorter than the swing phase in sprinting (bottom image). 

During running, there is an increased range of pelvic, hip and knee rotation due to increases in joint movements. This must be absorbed by increasing muscle forces acting over the joints. As running speed increases, the foot maintains the same movements as in walking but with variations. In slower running, the foot functions in a heel-toe manner. In quicker running (striding), the foot may strike with the heel and forefoot simultaneously prior to toe-off or may strike with the forefoot initially and then the heel lowering to the surface prior to toe-off. Sprinters maintain weight-bearing on the forefoot from contact to toe-off, although the heel may lower to the supporting surface at midstance. (Clinical Sports Medicine, 2007)

If you are walking or running it is important to take care of your body. If you have an injury get it treated while it is small issue instead of letting it continue, as it will cost you more time and money in the long run. 


Tags: biomechanics of running 

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Brendan Hill G.S.R. Brendan Hill G.S.R. @ Ennis Injury Clinic

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