External Forces during Actual Acceleration across Transition Speed

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics

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Veerle SegersGhent University

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Peter AertsGhent University
University of Antwerp

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Matthieu LenoirGhent University

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Dirk De ClercqGhent University

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The purpose of this study was to examine the kinetics of the walk-to-run transition (WRT) and run-to-walk transition (RWT), when accelerating or decelerating across transition speed (a = 0.17 m·s−2). Nine women performed gait transitions on a 50-m-long walkway. Vertical ground reaction forces (GRFs) and the center of pressure (COP) were examined in the range from 3 steps before to 3 steps after transition in order to identify the possible occurrence of a transition process, in order to facilitate the actual realization of transition. The actual transition is realized in one step, during WRT and RWT. This transition step was characterized by an outlying vertical GRF and COP trajectory (deviating from walking and running). Despite this clear discontinuity, a transitional adaptation period (process) appeared in both transitions. In the WRT, transition was prepared and kinetic adaptations were found in the last step before transition. The RWT was pre- and “post”-pared and only completed during the first walking step after transition. Thus, the WRT and RWT are two distinct phenomena, with different kinetics.

Segers is with the Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium; Aerts is with the Laboratory for Functional Morphology, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, and the Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium; and Lenoir and De Clercq are with the Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

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