Underwent a gait analysis for a sports conditioning class.

We found that my gait is way too long/wide. I'm heel striking like it's going out of style.

The rear leg is consistently way too far back.

As a result, I am not bringing up the forward leg high enough or fast enough.

My upper body is also too tight, but that's not what I'm primarily concerned about.

I also supinate too much.

We plan on undergoing drills and other training modalities to fix these types of errors, but I wanted to ask here to get more input:

I already regularly resistance train, but what can I focus on strengthening to counteract these multiple errors, and why? I also suspect I have inflexibility (earlier testing, not related to running), but this wasn't immediately obvious.

  • mmm...not much you can do weights wise to counteract a long gait. Mostly it's going to be form drills and concentration.
    – JohnP
    Feb 26, 2014 at 22:55

4 Answers 4


Try taking your shoes off. Or, probably better, buying some zero-drop, low-stack-height shoes (the Merrell Vapor Glove is my personal favorite).

This will provide immediate feedback on over-striding and the accompanying heel-striking because it will hurt. As you build up strength in your feet, ankles, and calves, it will probably also help with the excessive supination. Also, stubbing the ball of your foot on sidewalk cracks, curbs, etc. a few times will also help with getting your feet high enough off the ground fast enough.

BUT: please don't expect to keep whatever volume of running you're currently doing if you do switch to barefoot running or running in minimalist shoes. Start off very small and work your way up very slowly. It will take longer than you might think to build your atrophied foot architecture up to the appropriate level of strength.

  • I should mention that those types of shoes absolutely do not work with me (I own five fingers). I have a flexible arch, and the ligamenture in my feet respond with increasing laxity, causing pain:/. Thanks for responding! Feb 28, 2014 at 2:27
  • Also, you should look at some of the studies on injury rates among runners that switch to chi/pose/[insert your fad of the day here]
    – JohnP
    Feb 28, 2014 at 5:35
  • @JohnP: I think you missed the "start off very small" bit of my answer...
    – alesplin
    Feb 28, 2014 at 19:54
  • @Ellocomotive: Sorry to hear it. Good luck.
    – alesplin
    Feb 28, 2014 at 19:54
  • @alesplin - Nope, I didn't miss it. That's only a small factor in the injury rate anyway.
    – JohnP
    Feb 28, 2014 at 20:26

It sounds as if you should incorporate some stretching(holding for 30 seconds to try and increase your flexibility).

Running drills will be the best thing to improve your running style. Also doing some short fast intervals, whilst thinking about your running form will help get your knees up. Ie coming off toes, driving with arms, head up looking forward.

I would also suggest specialised running shoes for the supination. If you get your gait analysed at a good running shop they should be able to advise. I wouldn't be too worried about hill striking unless you are a sprinter.

If you are already doing resistance training, and have a strong core, I don't see any benefits to adding any more resistance training.

Hope that helps


I have read that not all "heel striking" is necessarily bad. It depends on how you're actually landing. Some notables land more incidentally towards the front part of the heel with bent knees and then roll forward.[1][2]

As for the rear leg going too far back, again it depends. What is the driving mechanism being employed? Are the quads coming into play too much in a long, drawn-out pushoff motion? Or are the hips being extended to provide more airtime between steps?[3]

If one extends backwards using the hip extensors, then like a rubberband the leg snaps back underneath for the next step with minimal effort by means of elastic recoil. When you watch the video clips, note that extending the hips is not the same as rotating the pelvis around the spine.

Here are some exercises to strengthen the hip extensors and flexors.[4]

[1] Marathoner Meb Keflezighi - look at around 3:15
[2] Desiree Davila - around 0:15


So continuing with my education, I've learned that resistance training isn't really going to help, unless I was unfamiliar with running in general, and I was blatantly weak in many areas. That is not the case.

Resistance training and training with tools will not help, at least not at first.

Typically tools aren't used to fix running form-they're used to make you more efficient. This means that I have to fix my running form first, before resistance training or use of tools will help.

This is done through running drills. In my case, I desire to be faster in middle distance running (5k). My problem is lack of knee drive and dorsiflexion. I move my foot too far forward of my center of gravity, and when reaching the desired position, let it fall, rather than drive it down.

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