Friday, April 24, 2009

More on Running Mechanics

In the last posting, I analyzed and modified one of my client's running mechanics. In the video (from the side view), I was able to see some issues with her mechanics, which I addressed. However, I was only able to see one plane, the side. So, I also viewed her from the back to analyze her mechanics. Below is the video of her from the back (after she modified her mechanics).

From this view, you can see some leg collapse, or internal rotation of the femur when the foot strikes the ground. It is hard to tell, but there may be a difference in how much each leg internally rotates. As the leg rotates, the foot compensates and turns outward. This is common in females, as they tend to have a little wider hips than knees. Additionally, many female runners are weak in the muscles that help prevent internal rotation of the femur. These are the muscles on the side of the hips, known as the external hip rotators (see picture).

A running shoe salesperson would probably recommend a 'motion control' running shoe to help correct this foot 'pronation', or flattening out of the arches as the foot rotates inwardly when the foot strikes the ground. But, this is attempting to fix the symptoms, not the underlying cause. A good strength and mobility training program can help alleviate some or most of these problems. My client actually has been working on this issue and she now doesn't have knee pain with running, as she did six months ago.

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