Ground reaction forces in running: a reexamination

J Biomech. 1987;20(2):147-55. doi: 10.1016/0021-9290(87)90306-x.


Ground reaction force (GRF) data were collected on twenty adult males during running stance to establish normative standards to aid in assessment of the gait of atypical runners. Subjects ran between 30 and 40 trials across a Kistler 0.6 X 0.9 m force platform at self-selected speeds ranging from 2.5 to 5.5 m s-1. Best fit polynomials for a given descriptor variable were constructed for each subject and the polynomials were evaluated as a function of running speed. Predicted means and standard deviations (based on the polynomials) were calculated and multivariate analyses of variance were performed. The descriptor variables: impact peak, loading rate, thrust maximum, decay rate, average vertical GRF, change in vertical velocity, braking impulse, propulsive impulse and stance time were determined to be running speed dependent (p less than 0.001). Specific patterns associated with the breaking component of the antero-posterior GRF of heel-strikers included single, double and multiple peaks. Three dimensional graphic displays showed that, despite considerable group variability in medial-lateral GRF-time histories, consistency was evident in the patterns of individuals across speeds. Individual right-left asymmetries were clearly shown in these displays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Gait*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Running*