The forefoot running leg swing involves the legs to swing more rearward, kicking up behind the body. I learned from the Pose Method of Running, to think of lifting the foot up at the ankle or from the back of the heel and to pull the foot up under the hips.
The simple, mental effort of lifting the foot up goes a long way as it reduces eccentric work at the knee, lightens a heavy foot strike, prevents over-striding, and reduces loading and magnitude of impact.
Bend the Knees for a Softer Landing
In forefoot running, both knees should always remain soft and bent. A bent knee softens the landing, making the ground feel softer under your feet even on concrete.
Keeping the knee bent upon foot strike increases the responsiveness of the leg and foot at ground contact, that is the leg should feel springy and compliant. Additionally, bending the knee is a great way to release tension in the leg.
Above, shows the free-leg swinging rearward up to the butt with no tightness in the hips. A relaxed foot-ankle complex as the foot floats up from the ground. Notice how both knees are slightly bent -there should never be full extension of the legs.
Ethiopian Elite Runners Leg Swing
To get an idea of the leg swing in forefoot running, watch the forefoot running technique of Tirunesh Dibaba and her brother shown below making note of their relaxed back-kick as well as the height of the back-kick:
- Head Positioning in Forefoot Running
- Arm Swing and Arm Carriage in Forefoot Running
- Eye Gaze in Forefoot Running
- Foot Strike
Run Right with a Forefoot Strike !
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.