Foot Striking Patterns

Standard

You may have never put an ounce of thought into it, but how your foot hits the ground when you walk or run has a lot to do with your performance and the likelihood of becoming injured over time. Basically, there are three foot striking scenarios:

FootStrikePattern

 

 

Heel Striking: This is a very common way for people to land on their feet is by striking heel first, then rolling down to toes. This is widely considered to be very detrimental to performance and to joints (especially knees). This striking pattern is a lot like hitting the brakes with every step. By doing this you are momentarily stopping forward momentum until the rest of you catches up. This method of foot striking is mostly blamed on wearing thick shoes. If you ran like this barefoot, it would hurt very badly, but with a nice cushy sole underneath your heel, you can do it just fine…for now.

Notice the difference in this picture where the first child is wearing shoes and the second one isn’t. Notice the graph on the left where you can see a dip in momentum where the heel strikes.

newtontrail115

This foot strike doesn’t incorporate your plantar fascia (the bottom of your foot) very much, leaving that to become weak and over-stressed easily over time. It also sends a lot of shock to your heels, potentially causing heel spurs, and to your knees, shocking them into hyper-extension with every step.

Midfoot Striking: Not landing flat foot, but landing behind the balls of the feet. This gives your ankles a chance to help take some of the pressure off your knees and absorb some shock. When you land further on the front of your foot, your foot lands closer to your center of gravity, preventing over-striding (extending beyond your center of gravity).

FootStrikeCloseCOG

Contacting the ground underneath your body keeps you from putting on the brakes with every step and keeps your momentum forward, keeps shock off the knees, and gets your plantar fascia working.

Just look at this beautiful example:

runformimages3

Forefoot Striking: Landing on the balls of the feet. Again, similar situation with mid-foot striking.

 

 

 

 

barefoot-running-011

The ability for the foot to absorb impact is called impact transient. In the heel strike you see it quite profoundly:

Fig1b

 

 

 

 

In the mid and fore-foot strike it is nearly absent entirely:
Fig1c

Basically though, most experts agree that avoiding over-striding is one of the most important things you can do. Take smaller steps right underneath your body and your feet and knees will naturally correct themselves. Also, landing softly on your feet, however you strike, is of the utmost importance. Your feet should never, ever slap down. You should always be in control of your feet.

If you’re adjusting your stride or foot slapping, you will get tired faster because you will be using more effort to walk or run, but that’s the whole point. The patterns of movement that cause injury are generally caused by doing it the ‘easy’ way instead of the proper way. Start slowly at first until your body gets stronger, and it will, and not only will you be injury proofing yourself, you will get stronger and faster as a result.

Apps and Fitness

Standard

There are so many apps out there for smart phone users to help make living a fit and well lifestyle easier. I’m going to introduce just a few faves real quick:

RunKeeper http://runkeeper.com/ – great for tracking your speed/distance/time while running, biking, walking, boating, you name it. It’s great if you’re looking to keep a certain pace, go a certain distance, or just want to keep track of what you’ve been doing. You can select to follow a running plan (and they’re legit, I’ve checked them out) to train for a race and set goals for yourself, like a certain number of miles in a month. It even connects you to other RunKeeper users and connects to your Facebook so you can post about your activities for some additional accountability.

MyFitnessPal http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ – If you’ve ever talked to me about nutrition I’ve probably told you about this app. I just love it! It’s user friendly, tracks calories in/out, what percentages of your diet is carbs/protein/fat, and gives you a nutrition panel that tells you what you need/have gotten/have left to get. It shows you a graph of the week and how you’re doing in relation to your calorie goal, has a huge database for easy inputs of food and exercise, and so much more. Love it! If you don’t know what your diet looks like, it’s time you found out.

Zombies Run! https://www.zombiesrungame.com/ – If you like to run, or even if you don’t but want to, and if you’re into zombies, this is so fun. This really well done app immerses you in a post zombie apocalyptic world where you listen to radio type broadcasts of what’s going on around you as you run. With every run, you’re on a mission and hear more of the story of the people around you and the lives they’re living and lived before the outbreak. While you’re running, zombies sometimes start to catch up, urging you to run faster until you outrun them. It’s pretty fun and entertaining.  A 30 minute run goes by really fast with this app.

HabitRPG https://habitrpg.com/static/front – I admit, I just found out about this today, but it looks fun and I’ll be giving it a try. It’s an app meant to help you form good habits through rewards and tracks your to do lists for you. I’ll write more about it when I give it a try, but it seemed too cool not to include here.

You Are Your Own Gym – I am a huge fan of using only body weight whenever possible to exercise, so this one’s for me and those like me in that respect. It’s based on the book by Mark Lauren of the same name, a former member of special ops. All exercises are body weight only and you can select workout programs or build your own using a variety of highly effective formats, like stappers and pyramids. It’s awesome. If you like body weight and want a good challenger, here it is!

I will continue to add to this list, but these are enough to definitely get  most of you started with some technology for making your life a little easier and better, if you’re into that kind of thing 😉

Happy T.G.I.F.!

Cassandra Wyzik
Fit With Cassandra Private Fitness Studio
1359 Highway A1A Satellite Beach, FL
504-717-5378
http://www.FitWithCassandra.com
http://www.Facebook.com/FitWithCassandra

Group Classes Website Update

Standard

Greetings my fit-spirational folks!

I have updated the group classes page on my website so that each group class gets its very own page, as they should. I hope to amass some pictures of these classes in action to add later (with everyone’s permission of course) and to add more information about each as needed. The link is here:

http://www.fitwithcassandra.com/groupclasses.html

Please check it out and let me know what you think 🙂

Onward and upward!

Love, Cassandra

New Blog!

Standard

So my website comes with a blog, but it’s not very snazzy and I can’t easily share it with anyone, so I’m going to try doing it through Word Press and see what happens 🙂 I’m hoping that in this format I can reach more people more easily and spread the good word on fitness, wellness, and health 🙂