Changes in muscle coactivation during running: a comparison between two techniques, forefoot vs rearfoot.

Daniel Araya, Juan López, German Villalobos, Rodrigo Antonio Guzmán Venegas, Oscar Valencia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Surface electromyography has been a technique used to describe muscle activity during running. However, there is little literature that analyses the behaviour of muscle coactivation in runners, describing the effect between two techniques associated with the initial contact, such as the use of rearfoot (RF) and forefoot (FF). The purpose of this study was to compare muscle coactivation levels developed in the lower limb during two running techniques, FF vs RF. Fourteen amateur runners were evaluated (eight men, six women; age= 23.21 ± 3.58 years, mass= 63.89 ± 8.13 kg, height= 1.68 ± 0.08m). Surface electromyography was used to measure muscle activity during both running techniques evaluated on a treadmill, considering the muscle pairs: Rectus femoris- Biceps femoris (RFe-BF), Lateral Gastrocnemius–Tibialis Anterior (LG-TA), and Medial Gastrocnemius - Tibialis Anterior (MG-TA). These were calculated in three windows considering ten running cycles (0-5%, 80-100%, and 0-100%). To compare FF vs RF t-student test for paired data was used. The results show significant differences in the MG-TA pair (FF= 18.42 ± 11.84% vs RF = 39.05 ± 13.28%, p = 0.0018 ) during 0-5%, and RFe-BF pair (FF = 42.38 ± 18.11% vs RF = 28.37 ± 17.2%, p = 0.0331) during 80-100% of the race. In conclusion, our findings show that the behaviour of muscle coactivation is different between FF vs RF techniques if we analyze little windows in the running cycle. This could be associated with an increase in the joint stability between these short intervals, represented in the initial and final regions of the running cycle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-336
JournalArchivos de Medicina del Deporte
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021

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