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Am J Sports Med. 1980 Sep-Oct;8(5):345-50.

Biomechanics of walking, running, and sprinting.


A biomechanical study of 13 runners which consisted of 2 male sprinters, 5 experienced joggers, and 6 elite long-distance runners were studied. We obtained hip, knee, and ankle joints motions in the sagittal plane and electromyographic data from specific muscle groups. As the speed of gait increased, the length of stance phase progressively decreased from 62% for walking to 31% for running and to 22% for sprinting. The sagittal plane motion increased as the speed of gait increased. Generally speaking, the body lowers its center of gravity with the increased speed by increasing flexion of the hips and knees and magnifying dorsiflexion at the ankle joint. Electromyographic activity about the knee demonstrated increased activity in the quadricep muscle group and hamstring group with increased speed. Muscle function about the ankle joint demonstrated that the posterior calf musculature which normally functions during the midstance phase in walking became a late swing phase muscle and was active through the first 80% of stance phase, as compared to 15% in walking. Beside the changes in the electromyographic activity of the muscles, the anterior compartment muscles of the calf undergo a concentric contracture at the time of initial floor contact during running and sprinting but undergo an eccentric contraction during walking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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