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Training & advice

Mitchell Phillips of Stride UK - Instore Running Gait Analysis vs Clinical Gait Analysis explained

Video Gait Analysis (the process of inspecting your running style using video filming equipment) is becoming more accessible up and down the country. Many running shops are now providing this service to allow customers to run on a treadmill to help with running shoe recommendation. Although that?'s a good start to help you choose the right shoes, it's important to appreciate its limitations. 

Although this style of video gait analysis can help determine if a runner's foot is overpronating or supinating, by watching in slow motion, either movement can happen for many reasons:

  1. The running shoe itself
  2. A muscular problem further up the body
  3. The treadmill (most commercial treadmills have too much loose slack in the ?belt driven system? to promote a realistic gait pattern, notice how running outdoors feels different to running on a treadmill). 

Filming barefoot running would seem a better approach, but the treadmill will still change your own running kinematics and so won't provide realistic or accurate feedback. Whilst this service is good for running shoe recommendation you would be wise not to rely on it as a means to an end to overcome injury or improve performance.  

Clinical Gait Analysis operates from a full kinematic perspective (acknowledging how the whole body performs rather than just looking at the feet). In a shop you would run on a basic treadmill with a camera behind you. Clinical gait analysis operates in a far more calibrated environment using a specialist orthogait treadmill designed to imitate the natural process of running. Cameras are often positioned all around the treadmill and secured on adjustable column brackets to keep the camera dead still with laser precision accuracy. The treadmill would have calibration boards to the front and side to detect every slight muscle movement.  Blue screen is often used to enhance the ability to watch the runner, the treadmill has to be engulfed with plenty of light boxes to capture every grain of information. Body markings are placed on the runner to track vital muscle and joint locations.  

Although this sounds like quite an operation, we must appreciate that running plays an accumulative effect on the body, every time any muscle weakness fails marginally whilst running, you're repeating that same movement approximately 1700 times a mile. Clinical gait analysis will work with you to uncover these imbalances and provide you with a precise training plan to keep you out of the injury clinic and into the race! 

In summary -
Instore Gait Analysis - ideal for running shoe recommendations and reviews.  
Clinical Gait Analysis - ideal for reducing injury and improving performance.

Mitchell is a running performance analyst at StrideUK, one of the UKs leading video gait analysis companies, based in Brighton. For more information, please visit