Written by: Karly Mendez-Huebel, Human Performance Specialist at IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute
- A running gait analysis uses a motion capture system to evaluate biomechanics of a run pattern. Abnormal gait patterns can lead to back, hip, knee, or foot disorders and hinder sports performance/increase injury.
- Using the video that was captured, a biomechanist breaks it down into a slow-motion analysis of running mechanics. The biomechanist can then identify problems (cadence, foot-strike, lack of strength, lack of flexibility, etc.) and help determine the proper conditioning program to increase performance and help prevent injury.
What is a Gait Analysis?
Gait analysis is becoming more and more popular with not only joggers, marathoners, triathletes but also athletes in a variety of other sports. Athletes are using gait analysis tests to determine correct footwear, prevent injury, and assess current injuries/soreness. Whether it is a family member or friend telling you the best type of shoe that worked for them, or a website telling you what stretches or exercises to practice to help with pain you may be experiencing, these references may not be the best advice or provide the best information for you personally to become a more efficient runner and prevent pain. The best way to find out what you need to improve on or what you are doing well is to have your running mechanics analyzed.
A video gait analysis can be described as the study of the body’s motion while running using 2-D motion capture software to analyze movements. An evaluation is done to assess structure, muscle flexibility, and strength to determine how these factors influence the mechanics of an individual’s running gait. The combination of motion capture software and expertise of a biomechanist to analyze the motion provides an extensive review of someone’s running gait mechanics. For example, it may identify where someone is weak in a specific muscle group or how their specific body structure impacts their gait during a run. Participating in a gait analysis will help you understand your body mechanics during each step while running and help you with the tools to make efficient improvements as well as mitigate injury.
After completing a gait analysis test, all the information gathered from the biomechanist is used to create a detailed report and action plan for the runner. This may include a shoe recommendation, strength program or drills to help improve angles that fall outside defined ranges. Contrary to popular belief strength is a critical component of being a healthy, efficient runner.
How a Gait Analysis Can Benefit your Run?
Many athletes experience some kind of injury within a year of running due to their running mechanics. A video analysis of your running mechanics can help you gain insight on your running pattern to help you run more efficiently and prevent injury. A gait analysis can be very helpful in revealing underactive muscles, potential causes to injuries, and imbalances in the body that will allow you to develop a plan to becoming a stronger and more efficient runner.
To schedule your running gait analysis please contact:
Katy Sports Park
Address: 23910 Katy Freeway, Suite 100, Katy, TX 77494
Shepherd Square – Performance Lab
Address: 2085 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77007