Ground Reaction Force in Female Runners

Female runners don’t just differ in physiology from male runners; they differ in biomechanics and how ground reaction forces are applied to the foot.

In an interesting study at the famous Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Calgary, the loading rate of the impact force was significantly higher for females than for males when running in neutral and motion control shoes.

Since there was no difference in the amount of impact force between males and females, this means that females experience the peak vertical ground reaction force sooner after foot strike on the ground than do males. Perhaps as a result, the study also reported that female runners preferred more cushioning in the heel of their shoes.     

What this means for female runners: Select a shoe with more cushioning in the heel to offset the faster impact loading rate when your feet land on the ground.

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