Saturday, April 17, 2010

More on Heel Landing from a Blog by Dr. Yessis

I continue to see and read about the need to land on the heel for long-distance and to an increasing extent, for athletes who must run in their sport such as baseball and football players as well as track sprinters . But is this an efficient method for effective running?
Although not as often, you can also find many coaches saying that the heel hit is natural in running. Can these comments however, be substantiated? The answer here is no and there is no scientific or even logical explanation for landing on the heel first.
For example, when you land on the heel, leg is most often in front of the body. As a result, it acts as a braking force that impedes your forward motion. In addition, you eliminate the pawback action which is very important for producing greater ground reaction forces for a stronger push off.
In regard to the heel hit being a natural aspect of running skill, I have never seen this proven. What I have seen however, is that when runners run barefoot, they never land on the heel; it hurts too much! They always land ball-heel or midfoot. This is the natural way to run!
Why then is this inefficient and injury producing method continually being taught and recommended? Isn’t it about time we started educating runners as to the most effective running technique and as a result have them experience greater enjoyment from their running?
For more information on the heel hit see Explosive Running and Build a Better Athlete.

Taken From Dr. Yessis Sports Training Blog 
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