Hop For The Best

How short hops can un­cover lower leg weak­nesses

Runner's World (UK) - - Contents -

Sim­ple tests and tips to keep you in­jury-free

HOP­PING IS A SIM­PLE MOVE­MENT

that gives you huge amounts of in­for­ma­tion about your run­ning gait. Lack of im­pact con­trol is, in my 25 years of run­ning-phys­io­ther­apy ex­pe­ri­ence, the most com­mon flaw in run­ning me­chan­ics and the most fre­quent cause of run­ning in­juries. The abil­ity to land on your foot and de­cel­er­ate the im­pact is es­sen­tial to the run­ning ac­tion. Many run­ners land on their mid­foot or heel, which helps this de­cel­er­a­tion; how­ever, the calf and foot mus­cles also need to be able to ab­sorb forces, not just the bones and joints. Fur­ther­more, when you’re rac­ing in flats or per­for­mance shoes, the im­pact point is of­ten fur­ther for­ward, to­wards the toe, where you have less cush­ion­ing in the shoe to as­sist you.

BY MARK BUCK­ING­HAM THE KEY ME­CHAN­ICS FOR STRONGER RUN­NING

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