More proof for the Cross Over Gait for the non-believers and debaters.

For those of you who have been with us for a few years, you are no stranger to our articles and videos on the web for piecing together many aspects of the CROSS OVER GAIT in a manner more comprehensive and more clear.  If you are not familiar with our work on this, please click here.

Today we add a little more “proof to our pudding”.

“Changing step width alters lower extremity biomechanics during running.” Brindle et al.

  • Step width influences frontal plane biomechanics of all body parts
  • Changes in step width affects arm swing symmetry and often creates arm abduction
  • Hip and knee biomechanics change from their normal predicted path and mechanics
  • Hip adduction, rearfoot eversion and internal tibial spin decrease as step width increases
  • Knee adduction/valgus stress decreases as step width increased.
  • Increased step width improves cephalad stacking of all lower extremity joints
  • The swing limb is a hinging pendulum. Striving for a level pelvis and normal step width promotes a normal sagittal pendulum path and improves the likelihood of a recurring sagittal pendulum swing for the opposite leg. 

As Brinkle et al. say in their paper, “step width is a spatiotemporal parameter that may influence lower extremity biomechanics at the hip and knee joint.”  We would argue that it is even more far reaching than the hip and knee. You have likely learned here at the Gait Guys that arm swing is heavily predicated on the dynamics of contralateral leg function and positioning.

The above video shows a classic cross over gait. The limbs can be seen crossing over the midline thus guaranteeing that the pendulum is moving through an arc and not along a straighter progression. This adduction of the limb virtually guarantees that the foot is striking greater on the lateral heel and forefoot than it should, that the rear foot is going to move through eversion with greater speed and force and internal tibial spin and arch control will need to be controlled better.  And if they are not controlled better, pathology may eventually occur.  Do you want any of this to occur at an accelerated rate as occurs in running ? One doesn’t need to just heel strike to suffer these problems, midfoot strike will still see them if the cross over occurs.

Shawn and Ivo, the Cross Over Guys.