How’s your form? Are you a heel-striker? Do you pronate? Are you in the right shoes? Is your running form putting you at risk for injury? These are the kinds of questions – and many many more – that get answered during the Running Mechanics Profile test at The Hospital for Special Surgery. I did it a few weeks ago (it takes about an hour; see a detailed segment on it here), and as a runner it was one of the best things I could have done.
Leigh-Ann Plack PT, DPT was the one who administered the test (it costs about $320), and in addition to being filmed from all angles (see above!), she had me to squats, go up and down steps, and a whole bunch of other things to test my alignment and form and to get a sense of what could be causing pain now and what might cause pain/problems in the future. I mentioned that I had been having hip pain and she pointed out exactly why on my running video and gave me specific exercises to correct the issue. She also told me that I had to shorten my stride (i.e. maximize the time my feet are on the floor), and told me that it was imperative that I run in stability shoes. I’ve been running in a few different stability shoes over the last few weeks and I’m totally head over heels for New Balance’s 1260v2 ($145). Unfortunately they’re not the most stylish, but it was crazy to see how much smoother my runs were on the video when I ran in these fantastically designed sneakers. I can’t stress enough how important it is to wear the right shoe! I highly recommend going to a place like Niketown or The Running Company if you can’t make it to HSS – it’s so helpful to be filmed while running in sneakers and if you have a pronating foot, def check out the style I mentioned from New Balance.
This test was truly amazing and I would highly recommend it even if you are a very, very casual runner because it does not take much to hurt yourself and this is just about the most effective injury prevention test I’ve come across. To boot the day after you take the test the person who administered it send syou a multi-page report detailing all of the findings. It includes graphs, data, and pictures of your body so there is absolutely no confusion.