Slow Motion Running

Steve AnkneyGeneralLeave a Comment

If there is one thing Dave Chappelle had right, it’s that watching things in slow motion is always better.  Whether it is a music video, or a person getting slapped in the face, for whatever reason, slow motion video is always enjoyable to watch.  Recent innovations in slow motion video capture have increased the power of the effect so much so that it now offers a more informative view on what happens when a foot lands on the ground or when a baseball bat hits a baseball.  The effect can be used for science, comedy, music, movies, sports and yes, even for running.

I came across this first video thanks to Steven Sashen over at Invisible Shoes.  Steven posted this on the Invisible Shoes Facebook page, because not only does it exhibit miraculous form, but it gives a great example of what running looks like in the sprinting world.  We don’t often talk about sprinting, mainly because it isn’t necessarily a tool people use for fitness, weight loss, or training, nor is it something people would often wear minimalist shoes for.  Sprinting is practically in a world all its own. With that said, this video proves once again that a forefoot form is highly efficient and continues to strengthen its reputation as our proper form!

Watch as sprinter Greg Nixon stays airborne for nearly double the time his feet are on the ground:

As I dug into the comments of the Nixon video, I found many people questioning how this airborne/grounded ratio could be possible and whether or not what we see is Nixon’s “real” form.  Then, I found a commenter who linked to Usain Bolt in the 100m race.

In both videos, Nixon and Bolt barely seem to land completely as each foot hits the ground, and notice that their heels barely, if ever, touch the ground. It is also fascinating to see that, although they do extend their legs out in front of them a significant distance with each stride, their foot does not hit the ground until it is aligned with their center of mass.  If you are looking for people to model your running form after, then guys like Nixon, and especially the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, are definitely ones to watch.

As a bonus, here’s one of my favorite slow-motion videos. Always makes me laugh!