What is the value of Gait Analysis?

By Julie Young


I think as runners one of the best ways to insure performance gains is to be proactive with injury prevention. Injury prevention and improved performance go hand in hand.

As runners, it’s tricky because we are dealing with ground forces. Every time our foot strikes the ground a force reverberates up in to our body affecting our bones and joints. But we can minimize these factors by – insuring our body is stable through the stride; we are mitigating the magnitude of the ground forces by utilizing active shock absorbers (muscles); and directing forces toward the larger hip joint and away from the knee joint through proper body position.

This is of course, all easier said than done.

The one thing I find most valuable about the gait analysis is the visual impression it provides to the runner, and that helps motivate more purposeful activation, stability, mobility, strength and movement training work.

In our gait analysis we spend time interviewing our client – we want to understand the entire picture including training status, injury history, goals and the main motivation for the analysis. We then do a strength and flexibility assessment as well as a Functional Movement Screen. This pre-video assessment helps us formulate a hypothesis on what we will expect to see in the video, vs taking a shot-gun approach.

As runners if we consistently invest time with activation, stability, mobility, strength and movement training work, we will train the right stabilizer to kick in at the right time in the stride; use active shock absorbers (muscles) to effectively absorb forces vs over-reliance on passive shock absorbers (bones and cartilage); and use body position to bring the bigger muscle groups in to play to reduce the load on the quad and torque on the knee.

The ultimate goal with the gait analysis is to change as little as possible with the individual’s technique of choice, and to clearly identify where we can improve deficits in stability, mobility and strength, which may lead to injury and/or inhibit peak performance.

For more information on our gait analysis, click here.

See you out there!