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SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH Inquiring minds would like to know: what about the science behind Pose Method®?
PoseTech's Online Library - Click here to return to the main page SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH & POSE METHOD A collection of some of the currently available scientific papers and studies on Pose Method® of Running.

Pose® Method Technique Improves Running Performance Without Economy Changes. ABSTRACT. - by Graham Fletcher, Ph.D.
Pose® Method Technique Improves Running Performance Without Economy Changes.

International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching
Volume 3 · Number 3 · 2008

by Graham Fletcher, Nicholas Romanov and Roger Bartlett


The aim was to investigate the affects of the Pose® method intervention on running technique, on economy and a time-trial runs. A 2 x 2 mixed factorial ANOVA assessed sixteen research variables where group (Heel-toe vs. Pose®) and trial (pre to post changes) was used. Significant interactions were explored using Tukey post hoc tests, which found significance (Pose® runners pre-post test) for stance time (p = 0.001), horizontal displacement of the centre of mass to support foot at 25 ms after impact (p = 0.042), centre of mass displacement during stance (p = 0.001), knee flexion angular velocity during stance (p = 0.005) and during swing to maximum knee flexion (p = 0.043) and stride frequency (p = 0.002). The Pose® group’s post-test time-trial (2400 m) was not significant yet they improved by a mean of 24.7 s compared with a 3 s decrease in the heeltoe group. No significant changes pre-post test, were found for an economy run (2400 m) at 3.35 m/s.

Key words: Centre of Mass, Ground Reaction Force, Heel-Toe Running, Running Economy, Time Trial


Heel-toe running is the predominant technique of endurance runners where 81% land heel first [1]. However, a new technique, Pose® running [2] has made claims [3-5] that it is an effective way to run. This paper will aim to investigate the effects of the Pose® method intervention on heel-toe runners on their running technique, on an economy and time trial run.

Sustaining the horizontal velocity of the centre of mass (CoM) is the biomechanical goal of running and represents the summation of body and limb motions. The horizontal velocity of the CoM decreases during the braking phase of stance (impact to maximum vertical ground reaction force (GRF)) while for the propulsive phase (maximum vertical GRFterminal stance) horizontal velocity of the CoM increases [6]. Hence, less reduction in horizontal velocity of the CoM during the braking phase should be beneficial to a runner. Slocum and Bowerman [7] highlight the cause of deceleration of the CoM during the braking phase: “A simple force diagram will reveal that the further ahead of the body the foot strikes the ground, the more acute the angle and the greater the deceleration from ground resistance.” Arendse et al. [3] suggested that further investigations into running speed should include the position of the torso and the CoM in running technique modification.

Range of motion of the lower limb, in particular for knee flexion and extension, have received considerable attention in running because they affect stride length and stride frequency [8]. Avariety of angles for knee flexion have been found for support, ranging from 38 to 50° for speeds of 3.4 m/s to 7.5 m/s [9, 10]. At terminal stance, the knee does not fully extend although there appears to be a trend towards greater extension with increased speed [9-11]. This finding is not universal [12]. Knee extension also correlates with vertical oscillation of the CoM [13]. Lower vertical oscillation of the CoM is a trend found in faster runners [14]. The relationship of vertical displacement of the CoM and knee flexionextension in connection to running technique warrants further examination.

Running economy is often proposed to be a primary determinant of competitive endurance running success [15, 16] and is defined as the oxygen cost per kilogram body mass per kilometer run [17]. However, changes in running economy link to running technique [16, 18- 20] with 54% of the variation in running economy attributed to biomechanical variables [14]. Parameters that affect running technique, which potentially improve performance, have been identified. However, these findings are not universally accepted [14]. For example, Williams and Cavanagh [14] found significantly lower first peaks for vertical GRF, plus less anterior and posterior GRF in economical recreational runners. Further, Pose® runners in the barefoot condition had less horizontal braking and propulsive GRF than when heel-toe running [3]. However, GRF for Pose® running in the shod condition requires further investigation.

The Pose® method is a single whole-body Pose®, which vertically aligns the shoulder, hip and ankle of the support leg with body weight (CoM above the ball of the foot) on the ball of the support foot at impact with the ground [2]. This creates an ‘S’ like body shape (Figure 1). The runner then moves from this Pose® on one leg to the other by falling forward (the CoM moves anterior to the support point which is the ball of the foot [21] via a gravitational torque [5]). It is taught that the support foot is pulled vertically upwards from the ground using the hamstring muscles as the body falls forward, while the ipsilateral leg is not driven forwards during flight but allowed to fall to the ground (under the CoM) via gravity to land in the next running Pose®. Many technique and strengthening drills have been developed to teach the runner to fall forwards while pulling their support foot from the ground (see Appendix 1).

Pose® runners have shown a distinct biomechanical profile in comparison to heel-toe runners. Two studies took heel-toe runners and trained them in Pose® running with a seven and half-hour and twelve-hour intervention, respectively [3, 4]. Pose® runners have been shown to use shorter stride lengths and higher stride rates than heel-toe runners [3, 4]. Dallam et al. [4] found a significant increase in stride rate in the Pose® group and reduction in vertical oscillation of the CoM in comparison to the heel-toe group at a given treadmill speed following the Pose® method intervention. However, whether these changes improved running speed using a time trial was not investigated.

Therefore, this study aims to measure using a pre-post test design the CoM motion during stance including lower-limb kinematics and GRF in the shod condition. Economy will be measured in a non-fatigued state during over-ground running and a 2400 m time trial will determine if the Pose® running intervention improved speed from the potential biomechanical changes.

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