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By: Brian Harper
Community Outreach Coordinator

At Stan’s and New Balance Milwaukee, we are not only interested in finding you comfortable, supportive and great looking footwear; we also want to help educate our customers and the Greater Milwaukee community about how footwear plays into your larger lifestyle goals.

Our Good Form Running and Walking clinics are one of the many ways we do this. Led by our Certified Good Form Coaches and with OUR NEXT CLINICS THIS THURSDAY, AUGUST 21 at 6 p.m. in Brookfield and Greenfield, Good Form Running and Walking covers both the basics and more nuanced principles that will help you improve your overall walking or running distance.

In addition, these clinics give helpful tips on how to prevent injury, take care of your feet, both before and after a workout, and more. Plus, our Good Form clinics are FREE!

Ben Sajdak, a Certified Pedorthist, Manager of New Balance in Brookfield and one of our Good Form Coaches, says he examines four key components during a Good Form session: posture, foot strike, cadence and lean.

“We start with posture,” says Ben. “I check by having you place your arms over your head with your fingers interlocked. Slowly bring your arms down to your side, and make sure your shoulders are back and that your neck is not too far forward.”

Ben demonstrates the Good Form posture check.

Ben demonstrates the Good Form posture check, which begins with your arms over your head and your fingers interlocked.

The posture check ends with your arms at your side.

The posture check ends with your arms at your side.

Good Form continues with a foot strike examination. While some people hit the ground with their heels and others with their toes, Ben says the ideal is to apply a midfoot strike.

“A midfoot strike puts less strain on the knees, heels, hips and back,” says Ben. He also recommends keeping your feet directly beneath your body while running or walking.

“The foot should hit underneath the body, not in front,” says Ben. “Many people think having your foot land in front of you is better, but it is actually inefficient and leaves you more prone to injury. Plus, when you strike with your heel in front of you, it acts like a brake. The best way to run is by taking shorter strides at a faster rate.”

Ben demonstrates the way a stride leading with the heel in front of the body actually operates as a brake.

Ben demonstrates the way a stride leading with the heel in front of the body operates like a brake.

After this, Ben examines cadence or gathers a count of how many steps someone is taking each minute. He does this by counting as someone runs or walks around the store, jogs on the store’s treadmill or walks or runs outside. Runners should take 160-180 steps each minute, while fitness walkers should take 60-80 steps per minute.

Ben also uses an iPad to perform a gait analysis. He does this by filming a video of someone running or walking, slowing it down and watching for a number of details, such as whether someone pronates and how their foot strikes the ground.

The last step in Good Form is an examination of the way a runner or walker leans.

“You should lean from your ankles,” explains Ben. “Not from your waist or neck.”

Runners and walkers should lean from the ankles.

Runners and walkers should lean from the ankles.

Another tool Ben likes to use when helping customers and Good Form participants is the iStep digital foot scanner. This allows people to gain a quick reading of their arch type and pressure points. Based on that information, Ben can determine what models of footwear or insoles will be best for a customer.

Good Form is about helping people utilize the best tools and information to achieve their health and fitness goals. Please visit us in Brookfield or Greenfield tomorrow, August 21 at 6 p.m. or schedule a Good Form appointment by calling us at 262-432-1400 in Brookfield and 414-431-6300 in Greenfield. Also, check out our segment about Good Form Running and Walking with Chip Brewster of Fox 6 Now News!

We look forward to working with you!

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