Running on an incline

J Biomech Eng. 1992 Nov;114(4):435-41. doi: 10.1115/1.2894092.


Seven male subjects ran at 3.0 m/s on a motorized treadmill including a force platform under the tread. The subjects ran at each of five treadmill inclinations: +0.17, +0.077, 0, -0.077, and -0.17 radians. The position of the subjects' legs were read from ciné films (100 frames/s). Results of the film and force plate analysis generally corroborated the "hanging triangle" hypothesis, which postulates that the angle between the leg and the vertical upon foot strike does not change as the treadmill is tipped up or down. A mathematical model of running, in which the leg is represented as a nonlinear spring, made satisfactory predictions of the way many parameters of running change with the treadmill angle, including the length of the leg at touchdown and liftoff and the peak leg force in the middle of a step. The peak leg force reaches a maximum at a treadmill angle near -0.12 radians, close to the downhill angle where other authors have found a minimum in the rate of oxygen consumption.

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Running / physiology*