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Over striding: What it is and how to fix it

August 23, 2016

According to Robert Maschi, DPT, OCS, CSCS, associate clinical professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences and an expert at the Running Performance & Research Center at Drexel Parkway Health & Wellness, there is no correct way to run but there are quite a few incorrect ways.

Certain movement patterns can increase the loads absorbed by bones, tendons and muscles, thereby increasing the possibility of an injury and making for an inefficient run. Over striding is arguably the most common culprit. Over striding occurs when a runner’s foot contacts the ground too far in front of his or her body. As a result, the runner is in the air longer and hits the ground harder.

With training underway for well-attended local races like the Philadelphia Marathon and Rock n Roll Philadelphia, Maschi shared a few tips to help recognize over striding and correct your form.

  1. Modify your step frequency. Step length and frequency are related. A small 5-10% increase in step frequency can effectively decrease ground reaction force and improve running mechanics. Try a metronome app and set a target cadence.


  2. Incorporate drills to increase your turnover rate. Ladder drills and jumping rope to a desired cadence are a few effective exercises for adjusting to a modified step frequency.


  3. Barefoot running drills. . Without shoes, it is easier to identify which part of your foot is hitting the ground. Practice running short distances on a firm surface barefoot. The goal is to get a feel for landing with the foot closer to the center of mass under the body on a flat foot.

For more tips to prevent over striding, register for Maschi’s upcoming FREE webinar, “Over striding: What it is and how to fix it” on Tuesday, August 30 at 12 p.m.

By Margaret DeGennaro ‘12