A midfoot strike is ideal for runners and helps reduce the force and shock to a runner’s hip, knee and ankle.
Chris Gabriel, physical therapist with OrthoCarolina, recommends incorporating an easy marching drill into your running program to help train your neuromuscular system to more naturally fall into this foot strike.
This drill, when practiced regularly, allows your body to get accustomed to the feeling of making a midfoot strike while running. To practice the drill:
Stand in a relaxed posture, shoes off, and lean forward from the ankle until you feel the weight shift from the heel more towards the front part of the foot.
March in place while maintaining this slight forward lean and using arm action as you would when you run. Do not bend forward at the waist or allow the rear end to stick out.
Gradually build up pace while maintaining good form and a midfoot strike. A sport cord around the waist can help to get the feel for the forward lean.
Gabriel recommends including this drill daily into your routine, practicing 10 times per leg (20 total). Build reps daily for a maximum of 100 total per day as you are able to maintain perfect form. Although this may seem like a large number of reps, it will allow you to build muscle memory when fatigued and continue to keep good form.
Chris Gabriel, OCS (Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist), CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist), practices physical therapy with the OrthoCarolina Wellness Center. Chris and his team treat a range of patients for orthopedic and sports medicine needs. He enjoys working with various local high school, college, and professional sports teams.