This isn’t really a proper post, its just to remind you of the competition I started last week (which you can read about at this link if you missed it) and give you an update. I’ve had a number of entries so far from across three continents.

The answer to my original question – “is it possible to walk in such a way that the second peak of the ground reaction is substantially higher than the first?”– is clearly “yes, it is possible“. I’ll thus definitely be sending a copy of my book to someone.

I also asked for a description of how this has been achieved and I think there is still room for improvement. I’ve had some quite lengthy explanations but what I was really hoping for is a very simple explanation that pin-points what is going on in a small number of words. Ideally the explanation would have two fairly short sentence. The first would describe how the pattern was achieved, for example, “I allowed my knee to flex more than usual after initial contact and then tried to push forcefully into hyper-extension at the end of stance” (I don’t suppose this works – it’s just an example of the sort of sentence I’m after). Ideally it should be specific enough for me to replicate your results without having to look at your video.

I’m not giving an example of the second sentence because even an example would give some of the game away but I’d be looking for a biomechanical explanation of why doing this affects the ground reaction. Given that the ground reaction is a force, your explanation will almost certainly refer to how you have modified the movement of your centre of mass.

If you’ve entered but would like to modify your entry in the light of these comments then just send me another e-mail. Closing date still this Monday.

If engaging in this exercise (even just thinking about it) has made you think more seriously about enrolling yourself, or one of your staff, on the Masters in Clinical Gait Analysis by Distance Learning then you can find out more at this link. The programme is part-time and work-based and thus designed to be taken alongside your normal job in the laboratory where you normally work. There is no requirement to come to Salford at all.

You might also like to know that we are running a three day gait analysis course in Salford from 11th to 13th May this year. You can find out more at this link.