There is a wealth of scientific research loaded with encouraging data strongly showing that forefoot running has what it takes to prevent most common running injuries. Personally, I consider ‘injury-free running synonymous with forefoot running on the basis that the essential mechanical features of forefoot running fundamentally provides multiple layers of impact and joint load protection as compared with heel strike running!
How Forefoot Running Prevents Most Common Running Injuries
Mechanically, forefoot running reduces injury by:
Ankle Plantar Flexion
Learn how relaxing your feet upon touchdown during forefoot running, helps reduce strain on the lower leg.
Find out how adding a slight bend to your knee goes a long way!
Reducing Horizontal Displacement Between COM and Foot Strike Position
Your torso position is imperative in forefoot running. Find out where you should hold your upper body posture to run forefooted more safely.
Vertically Aligning Tibia at Touchdown
In forefoot running, the position of the lower leg at touchdown allows for a safer, softer interaction between the body and the ground.
Initial Contact on the Outside of the Forefoot
Find out why the small bones in the lateral forefoot are better at deflecting impact compared with other areas of the foot.
Higher Cadence & Less Knee Extension
Find out cadence and knee kinematics in forefoot running influences a safer landing.
Greater Arch Compression
Learn how forefoot running leads to better vertical arch compression, helping keep your arches strong and healthy to avoid the dreaded plantar fasciitis.
Promoting Anterior Position of Center of Mass
Find out how a more forward position of your center mass may stop you from over-striding.
Controlled Ankle Dorsiflexion
Discover how forefoot running enables for better ankle dorsiflexon control, helping the Achilles tendon function more optimally.
Forefoot running is also related to better lower extremity joint flexion, particularly at the knee. Greater knee flexion during forefoot running helps reduce injury by:
Segments of the body are better able to contribute to impact attenuation in forefoot running as well. These areas include:
But, to run injury-free, you need to know exactly how to land on your forefoot and this how to do it right.
Overall, the best way to avoid running injuries is to avoid landing on your heel when you run. Check out my other articles on why heel strike running is health harming.
Another great way to avoid running injuries is by wearing the PROPER shoe –shoes that encourage a forefoot strike landing. Here are my personal recommendations on the minimalist shoes I feel are appropriate for forefoot running.
BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.