The effect of transitioning from a rearfoot strike to a non-rearfoot strike on running impulses per step

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Civil and Mechanical Engineering

Publication Date


Publication Title

42nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics, Rochester, MN, USA, August 8th – 11th, 2018

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Over 19 million people consistently run as a form of exercise in the United States alone. Annually, approximately 50% of these runners will experience an injury detrimental to performance. A recent approach to mitigating running injuries is modification of a runner’s foot strike pattern (FSP). Transitioning runners from a rearfoot strike (RFS) to a non-rearfoot strike (NRFS) pattern has been shown to influence several factors related to running injuries, to include a reduction in average vertical loading rate (AVLR). This idea is well established, but there are likely other factors influencing running related injuries, such as running cadence and different impulses during each stance phase. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of a transitional NRFS running program on the magnitude of impulse per step. We hypothesized that impulse per step will decrease in the vertical, anterior, and posterior directions following the running program due to increased cadence. We hypothesized that medial and lateral impulses will remain unchanged after the treatment protocol.

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