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DEVELOPING BETTER ATHLETES ONE STRIDE AT A TIME

The biomechanics of running appears pretty straight forwards upon first glance, but is running really as easy as putting one foot in front of the other! Unfortunately it is not! Next time you are out for a run, pay close attention to the running technique of the person in front of you (or anyone who might pass you) and what you will likely notice is that none of them run the same....so who’s to say what is good and what is bad when it comes to running biomechanics. If you talk to most experts in the field of Biomechanics, coaches or elite level athletes it is very unlikely that they would all pick one specific "runner" and say you should try and run like this! The reason for this is that there are so many variables and factors in the way your body moves that determine how you run (ie. weaknesses, tightness, and muscular imbalances). As a result, these underlying movement impairments will often affect your gait without you (the runner) knowing that compensations are taking place. The human body is capable of doing amazing things and will determine the most effective and efficient way for you to perform the skill. However, this in turn can cause additional stress to specific areas of your body and over time (due to the repetitive nature of running) and may increase the likelihood of becoming injured over the long term. It is important as a runner to consider having your gait analyzed by a trained professional to identify these movement impairments and address any potential weaknesses prior to the start of the spring (consider it a "checkup" or "winter maintenance package" for your new form of travel). And remember it is often cheaper to fix things prior to becoming damaged (especially with your car) and this is also true with your body....there is nothing wrong with seeing a physiotherapist or chiropractor when nothing is hurting at all!! For more information on Gait Analysis, please contact us at the information provided below.

Brian Shackel, MSc