Can Asymmetric Running Patterns Be Predicted By Assessment of Asymmetric Standing Posture? A Case Study in Elite College Runners

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Paige E. Skorseth
Patrick T. Knott

Keywords

Motion Analysis, Sports Performance, Trunk Imbalance, Surface Topography, Running, Gait

Abstract

Objective: This case study evaluated several elite college runners to see whether their standing posture could predict any asymmetry in their running pattern. The goal of the study was to provide sportsmedicine professionals with a basis to extrapolate running gait patterns from standing posture. Using this model, information that would otherwise only be available through sophisticated gait analysis could be easily obtained. It was hypothesized that asymmetry in standing position would be reflected in similar asymmetric patterns during walking and running. “Right or Left Dominancy” are often the terms used to coin these asymmetric running gaits among competitive runners and their coaches/trainers.


Methods: Surface Topography measurements were collected using the Formetric 4D system (DIERS International, GmbH, Schlangenbad, Germany) to obtain postural spine measurements and foot pressure measurements in the standing position. Then each subject was measured again during walking, jogging and running to obtain motion analysis data on the spine, trunk and feet. Comparisons were made between the standing and moving measurements.


Results: Standing asymmetries in the trunk did predict similar patterns of asymmetry during movement. Coronal imbalances were the most consistent, with standing postures that lean to one side translating into movement patterns during running that exaggerate that imbalance. Foot pressure imbalances during standing, however, did not translate to similar differences during running, with running forces fairly consistent between the right and left foot.

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