Running technique: males & females

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Mar 2020
10:35am, 27 Mar 2020
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Last year Mrs GordonG took up running. When we run together I’m always pointing out to her other runners’ good running techniques (i.e. not mine!) to try to copy, but also other runners’ habits she should try to avoid.

We’ve noticed that we often see at least one type of runner with what looks like a very uncomfortable running technique. I can only describe it as looking like their knees are almost banging together, which makes their ankles flick out in a wide circle. Sometimes it’s only slightly noticeable but sometimes it’s extremely obvious, especially when observed head on. It looks like a technique that should cause lots of injuries!

But here’s the thing: I would estimate that at least 90% of runners with that technique are female.

Is there a biological reason for this? Something to do with hips or pelvis? If it's biological, why do only some women run like this and not others? It’s certainly seems nothing to do with the runner’s shape, size or weight.

Any thoughts???
Mar 2020
9:04pm, 31 Mar 2020
22,653 posts
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Lizzie W
Probably squeezing their pelvic floor.
Mar 2020
9:19pm, 31 Mar 2020
3,336 posts
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I think ladies have wider hips, and therefore this causes the flick out. I'd say at my running club a large proportion of lady runners exhibit that technique.
Apr 2020
4:08pm, 1 Apr 2020
1,645 posts
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Combination of greater Q angle (wider hips- tendency to knock kneed) plus splayed feet gives this ankle circle effect.

A lot of people who have been dancers when they were younger (esp classical ballet) have a tendency towards this splayed feet thing but other than that i think it's just biomechanics and whatever muscular imbalances people have. I do see men running like this but it's much rarer.
Apr 2020
4:33pm, 1 Apr 2020
45,884 posts
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Yes, it's an anatomical variation and not something that should be used as an illustration of "bad running form".

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Maintained by GordonG
Last year Mrs GordonG took up running. When we run together I’m always pointing out to her other ...

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