What is a running gait analysis?

From a running gait analysis, you can see the mechanics of your running.

An analysis allows you to see components of movement, such as your stride length and foot contact placement. It also allows you to see where your joints may not be supporting you adequately, as well as where there are poorly controlled movements. 

Analyzing running gait includes examining the following components:

Frontal view

  • Are your arms crossing the midline of your body?
  • Is your trunk rotating excessively during each leg’s advancement?
  • Is your pelvis dropping to the opposite side of the stance leg?
  • Is your pelvis rotating forward excessively?
  • Are your knees aligning with the feet?
  • Are your feet landing just inside the width of the pelvis?
  • Are your feet landing excessively rolled in or out?

Side view

  • Is your head upright and stable?
  • Are your arms flexing ahead of and extending behind your torso?
  • Is your trunk rotating excessively?
  • Is your pelvis rotating forward excessively with each stride?
  • Is your foot landing in front of your body?
  • Is your knee bent upon landing?
  • Are your trailing knee and ankle bending to prepare for swinging your leg through?

Common issues seen during the gait cycle include: overstriding or landing with your foot ahead of your center of mass, excessive vertical translation of the center of mass, and insufficient arm swing.

Overstriding means that your foot lands in front of your center of mass. This causes a braking effect on propelling the body forward.

Excessive vertical translation of your body means that some of the energy of your upper body causes your body to bob up and down excessively. This creates higher energy demands and diminishes forward propulsion.

As mentioned previously, arm swing acts as a counterbalance for the opposite leg advancement. During insufficient arm swing, there’s excessive rotation of the lower body, which is less efficient.

Common issues seen during the gait cycle include: overstriding or landing with your foot ahead of your center of mass, excessive vertical translation of the center of mass, and insufficient arm swing.

Gait analysis is a helpful way to assess your running mechanics. This helps improve your running speed and endurance, as well as reduce your risk of injury. It can be difficult to make changes to your form. Start with small changes, focusing on making one adjustment at a time. With a little bit of practice and effort, you’ll be on your way to better endurance and less pain.

Consult a professional running coach or rehabilitation professional if needed. Look for one that has experience in analyzing movement, especially running. You also can check your running posture analysis (for free) right at Upfit.

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