Muscle Activity: Treadmill versus Jogging on the Street Essay

Muscle Activity: Treadmill versus Jogging on the Street Essay

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With the invention of in home treadmills in the late 1960’s, arguments have arose on whether or not the treadmill has similar results to overground running. For around 50 years, studies have been conducted to look at the kinematics, muscle activity, and performance of both types of running. There is not a lack of information on this topic. Treadmill and overground running have been compared at all speeds and many newer studies have even gone to compare the two by placing a graded increase on the treadmill. One study showed that walking on a treadmill at all speeds involved the same stride length, time, and cadence as walking at similar speeds overground (White, 1998). Another study found that “Most of the subjects reduced their step length and increased stride frequency in treadmill running. Furthermore, the contact time in treadmill running was shorter than for overground running” (Wank, 1998). Kinematics is an area of great interest when looking at the differences in running, additional studies have found that treadmill running is characterized by longer periods of support, lower vertical velocity, and less variable vertical and horizontal velocities than for overground running (Nelson, 1972). Inconsistencies have also been found in muscle activity patterns, this is important to look at because many people train for outdoor runs on a treadmill, if the muscles used on one type are different then the other this could cause a problem on the day of the race when your muscles are fatiguing and getting sore and you are unable to finish. A study completed by Lee shows that “differences in muscle activity were observed between the two walking modalities, particularly in the tibialis anterior throughout stance, and in the hamstrings, vas...


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... beneficial exercise that allows you to keep a healthy heart. Instead of focusing on what surface you should run on you should focus your attention on the bigger picture which is your technique. A proper running technique will allow you to conserve energy and ultimately run further. At the beginning of the project we believed that outdoor running was significantly superior when comparing to treadmill running, after much research we have disproven our hypothesis and found that there is still debate and varying data when it comes to this topic. There were not significant studies that proved one type superior to the other, the invention of the treadmill is fairly new when it comes to research so with years to come it could possibly be proven that one is better then the other, but for now results are inconclusive so get out there and run on whatever surface you please.

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