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Fitness and Performance

What is a running gait analysis?

Feb 17 2022

If you’re training for a marathon, half-marathon, 5k park run, or simply want to improve your running speed, then you may want to find a running gait analysis near you. Why? Bodyset senior physiotherapist and RunFit specialist, Rebecca Nygren explains.

What is a running gait analysis?

“A running gait analysis is a method for identifying biomechanical abnormalities in your running gait cycle – the way you run. By identifying and observing any inactive and/or overactive muscles, body imbalances, strained posture and running habits, a running gait analysis can provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to run faster, further, more efficiently and with a reduced risk of injury,” says Rebecca.

What are the benefits of a running gait analysis?

Running is now the most popular sport in the UK with over 6.5 million runners nationwide. However, as many as 79% of runners sustain a running-related injury each year, often due to ignoring the warning signs of pain. A running gait analysis is a beneficial way to provide you with the tools you need to stay injury free and running faster for longer.

“A runner who sets a 2022 goal of beating their best PB yet could be unaware of having reduced flexibility in their lower limbs, asymmetry in strength, or even running gait flaws – slowing them down as a whole. A small structural change could take their running performance to another level entirely.” Says Bodyset senior MSK physiotherapist, Ludovica Pasquinucci

What happens during a running gait analysis?

A running gait analysis forms part of our Bodyset RunFit service – an in-depth, gold-standard running assessment performed by running specialists and designed to help you make the most of your training and achieve your running goals faster and without injury. During the running gait analysis, we take you through the following steps:

  1. Take a history of your running activities and any injuries you’ve had. It’s important to know what your running goals are (speed, distance, overall efficiency), the running gear you use (particularly your running shoes) and to be aware of any previous injuries that could be affecting your running gait.
  2. Run on a treadmill. We ask you to run on a treadmill for up to 2 minutes to relax into your normal running gait.
  3. Video your running style. Once you have relaxed into your normal running gait, we film your whole body in slow motion, from head-to-toe, beside you and from behind you.
  4. Review your footage. Having filmed and observed your running gait, we review the video footage with you.
  5. Give instant advice. We provide tangible advice (via several running queues and/or exercises) on what you can change and work on to improve your running gait.
  6. Implement your changes.  We help you implement your new running tips on the treadmill, with our guidance.
  7. Develop a personalised running management plan. Including running drills and running queues to improve your running speed, distance, and efficiency, and avoid potential injury.
  8. Check in on your improvements. Following your RunFit assessment we’ll follow up on what you learned during your appointment, and how you’ve got on with implementing the changes into your training plan. If we observed any muscular imbalances during your running gait analysis we’ll advise on follow-up sports performance physiotherapy, and/or any other treatments to improve your strength, balance and conditioning where necessary. “It’s not just what you change on the track. It’s the time you put in off the track too…” says Rebecca.

What do you look for in a running gait analysis?

During your running gait analysis, we observe and break down all your running movements and positionings from head to toe. Some examples our observations may include the following:

  1. Head. Is your head reaching forward, leaning off to one side, or are you unbalancing yourself with large head movements?
  2. Shoulders. Are your hunched up by your ears, is your trunk leaning off to one side?
  3. Hip and pelvis. We’ll look at your triple flexion and triple extension. How much hip and knee bend do you have (the bigger your bend the stronger your drive forward) and how straight is your posture?
  4. Knees. Are your knees knocking together or turning in? Are you lifting them high enough? How long is your stride?
  5. Feet. Do you have excess pronation, or are they crossing over each other, on which part of your foot are you landing?

Where can I find a running gait analysis near me?

Bodyset is a buzzing network of 20+ physiotherapy clinics across the UK. You can book in for a running gait analysis in London at our Harley Street, Battersea, Old Street, Westminster, Maida Vale, Farringdon, Victoria, and Elephant & Castle clinics.

“Bodyset devised a comprehensive progressive strengthening programme, supported by a good app. I’ve returned to running, increasing distances and I feel stronger than before!” Bodyset client

WANT TO RUN FASTER FOR LONGER?

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