Monday, February 15, 2010

Bee's knees (not really)

First, the bee...

Fuzzy guy.

...then the knees...

Not sure why a
photo like this exists.

If I planned this correctly, that was silly enough to get you through the rest of this post.

Although bees aren't part of it, knees are, so let's look, shall we?

Actually, look was the wrong word. Rather, let's test.
Test 1: While standing barefoot, look ahead or close your eyes. Next, stomp the bottom of your forefoot into the ground. Pay attention to where the shock is felt most on your leg.

Repeat, but this time strike your heel and focus on where vibrations are being felt.
Now if it worked for you the same as it did for me, in the former scenario the bulk of the impact was concentrated in and around the calf muscle. With the the latter variation, most feeling is around the hamstring.

There's a problem with the latter case. The shock from the initial strike being sent to your upper leg also made a stop to your knee, and it's taking quite a bit of stress from the upward traveling shock.

Test 2 is much simpler. Just jump. (I hopped off a step)

First land on your forefeet, then switch it up and try landing directly on your heels.

Did landing on your heels feel uncomfortable? Unnatural and possibly painful?

Not good. It's like trying to reach and grab an object with the part of your palm near the wrist instead of the finger tips first. Feels awkward and weird.

Where does this all lead?

Answer: running mechanics.

If you're a runner - sprinter or long distance - and repeatedly striking your heel into the ground stride-after-stride, damage is occurring and a future injury won't be far behind from it. Even if no injury occurs, aches and pains in your joints and muscles will still be bothersome.

The most common problem causing heel strike style is use of running sneakers with too much support.

Try progressing through shoes with less support.

For your body, the switch can make a world of difference.


  1. i was looking at those shoes called the vibrams, i would love to get a pair of those "shoes". they look really awesome

  2. Oh my god, I've been wanting them too. They look really rugged and bad ass, plus I'd love going to class with that bare foot feeling.

    I'd get them if they could be worn in the winter or cheaper.


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