Importance Of Foot Muscles Training In Running

Running is one of the most easily accessible forms of exercise. However running may cause injuries when performed with poor biomechanic and poor muscle strength.


What is the difference in walking and running?

Running is very similar to walking. However if an individual has the ability to walk, it doesn’t mean they will be able to run. This is because in order to run, an individual is required to have greater balance, greater strength and greater mobility and flexibility.

Walking and running’s biomechanical shares almost the same phases. These include initial contact, foot flat, midstance, toe off and swing phases. The main difference is that running has a period when both feet are off the ground which we refer to as a double float phase. During the double float, there is no support on the ground due to both feet being off the ground which require the person to have great balance and strength in order to catch themselves and run again.

Running has a higher risk of injuries than walking. This is due to the greater impact in running. The high impact exceeds the capacity of the joints which result in injuries to hips, knees or ankles.


How can we reduce the risk of injuries?

In the research of (Taddei, Matias, Duarte & Sacco, 2020), it talks about how foot core training can assist with minimising injuries in running.

It is a randomised controlled trial with 118 running athletes. The athletes running distance range from 20-100km per week.

The study was split in between two groups.

The intervention group had an 8 week strengthening program involving 12 foot and ankle exercises performed 4 times per week.

The second group is a controlled group. This group’s exercise involve 5min placebo static stretching 3 times per week.

The result was followed up a year later. The study found that there was 28 people who got injured throughout the year. 20 people were from the controlled group and 8 people from the intervention group.

Therefore from the study, running athletes will have large gains from foot and ankle strengthening exercises to minimise injuries.


This information can be used to gain a better understanding of running. To find out more about how we can help, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.

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