Effects of Form-Focused Training on Running Biomechanics

This study aimed to investigate the changes in running biomechanics following training in form-focused running using ChiRunning versus not-form focused training and self-directed training in untrained individuals. Twenty-two participants were randomized to 3 study arms but 17 completed the study. The study arms were: (1) group-based Form-Focused running using ChiRunning (enrolled, n = 10; completed, n = 7); 92) group-based conventional running (enrolled, n = 6; completed, n = 4); and (3) self-directed training with educational materials (enrolled, n = 6; completed, n = 6). The training schedule was prescribed for 8 weeks with 4 weeks of follow-up. All subjects completed overground running motion analyses prior to and following training. Form-Focused group reduced their Stride Reach (P = .047) after the training but not the other groups. Form-Focused group exhibited a close to significant reduction in knee adduction moment (P = .051) and a reduction in the peak ankle eversion moment (P = .027). Self-Directed group displayed an increase in the running speed (P = .056) and increases in ankle and knee joint powers and moments.

There are differences in the changes in running biomechanics between individuals trained in running form that emphasizes mid-foot strike, greater cadence, and shorter stride compared with those not trained in the these techniques. These differences could be related to reduced lower extremity stress in individuals trained in this running form, but more studies are required to confirm these findings in larger samples.