September 30, 2023

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Can Gait Foot Analysis Make You a Better Runner?

There is no ‘perfect’ way of running. But being aware of your gait will help you understand your weaknesses and run better. The gait technique is often overlooked by many runners, but it forms a significant component of your performance. From power walkers to marathoners to casual joggers – a Gait Foot Analysis can benefit all types of runners. Here’s how a gait analysis will help you run more efficiently.

What is Gait Analysis?

Running techniques are complex and dynamic, with multiple body parts moving simultaneously. While every person has his unique style of running, the techniques can often determine his speed. Poor techniques can also lead to injuries and hamper the individual’s ability to make progress. When you analyze your technique, it will be possible for you to identify the major risk factors.

How Can You Analyze Your Foot’s Gait?

The best way of getting an accurate analysis is by booking an appointment with a biomechanics lab. Performance labs rely on sophisticated software for a detailed Foot Analysis. So, you will not only get the key data but also the opinions of an expert. However, for proper analysis, you must choose the lab wisely. Taking recommendations from friends and family and researching online are two ways of finding a leading biomechanics lab in your area.

Gait Training Exercises for Boosting Mobility

Taking physical therapy will improve your balance and allow you to regain mobility. In addition, there are several gait training exercises that your doctor might recommend to you. These activities include:

  • Toe raises and heel raises
  • Running on a treadmill
  • Standing on one leg for 5-10 seconds and then switching legs

All the above-mentioned exercises are designed to better posture and strengthen muscles. You can do these easily without anybody’s help. If you practice them regularly, you will run faster and avoid injuries.

Running Gait And Its Key Phases

If you observe runners minutely, you will notice different types of patterns. While some have a bouncy motion, others tend to follow a gliding motion. Even if neither is wrong or right, they provide a meaningful context to the following details:

  • The Early Swing Phase- This involves the moments after the foot is off the ground. 
  • The Late Swing Phase- whatever happens before the foot is hitting the ground.
  • Ground Contact This denotes the moment when the person’s foot establishes contact with the ground. 
  • Stance Phase- In this phase, the foot is in full contact with the ground. 

Become a Conscious Runner

So, a foot gait analysis will not only enhance your performance but also save you from injuries during running. You will feel confident as a runner when you have worked on your weaknesses. This confidence will reflect the next time you participate in a racing event.