PRINCIPLES OF APPLIED BIOMECHANICS ON THE RACE WALKERS: IMPROVEMENT IN PERFORMANCE WITH A PLANTAR ORTHOSIS

  • R. Saggini
  • A. Calligaris
  • M. De Angelis
  • A. Pezzatini

Abstract

When race walking it is essential to attain and maintain for a period of time the maximal speed with minimal expenditure of energy, in observance of the prescribed standards. To achieve this end, optimizing the physical carriage is indispensable. This may be done in two ways: I) by reducing those force component hat ace employed along directions of application that do no concur with the sense of progression, since they interfere with and disperse part of the energy; and 2) by increasing the vectorial components that have the same direction as the forward movement. The aim of our work was to verify the modifications that are induced by the use of plantar orthoses , as reflected by parameters of biomechanical performance on the race walker: Under standard reference conditions, we studied the kinematics and ground reaction of 10 highly-trained Athletes. With reference to report that confirmed previous study by us and other authors, we verified the modifications induced by the applications of special dynamic plantar orthoses. The ground reaction appeared to be optimized by the use of these orthoses through the following mechanisms: 1) a diminution of the sagittal force components that are opposed to the direction of movemen6 2) a diminution of the transverse edgewise components that are not useful to the progression, and 3) an increase in the reclamation of useful elastic energy stored by the functional unit, the 'musculo-skeletal footwear system”.
Section
Equipment / Instrumentation