Thursday, June 26, 2014

Development of Motor Skills - Running

Locomotor skills runningThis post is the second in the series on the advanced development of motor skills.   Just like walking, running skills progress from beginning skills to advanced running skills.

Here is the progression for the development of advanced running skills:

1.  Stride length increases

2.  The increase in stride length results in greater forces being exerted

3.  The rear leg fully extends during push off phase

4.  Knee flexion increases with the heel up close to the buttocks

5.  Thigh swings forward with greater acceleration

6.  Before heel strike, the thigh becomes parallel to the ground

7.  Movement in the sagittal plane is eliminated and the forces stay in the anterior posterior plane

8.  Out-toeing stops and the base of support narrows

9.  the stance leg moves into knee flexion as the body weights moves over the stance leg

10.  Trunk rotation increases resulting in a  longer stride and better arm-leg opposition

11.  Trunk has slight inclination forwards

12.  arms swing forward and back, with the elbow flexion close to 90 degrees moving in  opposition to the legs.

All of the above mentioned steps are dependent upon the child’s muscle strength, balance, coordination, body awareness and biomechanics.

The next time you are evaluating a student’s running pattern don’t forget to review the above steps to determine where in the running cycle the child may need to improve.

Stay tuned for the next post in the locomotor series – the development of jumping.

Reference:  Haywood, K. M., & Getchell N. (2001) Life span motor development. In J.P. Wright, and M. Feld, et al (Eds.), Development of human locomotion (pp. 121-142).Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics


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