ACSM: Effects of Step Rate Manipulation on Joint Mechanics During Running

Its been a while since the last post about some good research; I’m going to try to get more of these topics out for you guys as its my bread and butter. First up is an interesting study from ACSM about the effect of running cadence on joint loading from the University of Wisconsin Dept of Orthopedics.

Joint loading, as well as other variables were measured in 45 “recreational” runners at their normal pace, +5% and +10%. Interestingly, at both higher step rates, knee loading was decreased. At +10%, the hip joint showed decreased loading. The full paper can be downloaded here.

So it seems the general consensus of a higher running cadence being “better” is supported by this article. Limitations of the study include factors such as it being performed on a treadmill. Another limitation was that subjects had only 3 months of running experience and were “familiar with treadmill running.” So, in other words, this may not be applicable to you Craig Alexander or Chrissie types. In my case, which is definitely like those types, I find the higher cadence is a much more efficient and bone friendly than long striding it.

About Ironvan

From couch potato to Ironman triathlete in 2 years.

Posted on February 10, 2011, in Research and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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