Leg Stiffness and Foot Orientations During Running

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This study was done to determine whether leg stiffness (Kleg) during running was related to rearfoot-to-forefoot angle in standing (RFAst) and running (RFArun). Footprints obtained from 32 subjects were used to calculate RFAst and RFArun, defined as positive when forefoot axis was abducted from rearfoot axis. A spring-mass model was used to calculate Kleg in running from ground reaction forces, measured by a force platform. The Kleg of runners (13.0 ± 2.7 kN·m−1) was negatively correlated with RFAst (−8.4° ± 6.4°) and RFArun (−0.4° ± 7.2°). When runners were divided into opened foot (RFArun > 0; N = 19) and closed foot (RFArun < 0; N = 12) groups, the Kleg of opened foot runners was less than that of the closed runners. We suggest that foot structure is a factor responsible for the differences in leg stiffness observed in runners.

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