What is propulsion force?

Your gait is divided in different phases:

  • When your foot is on the ground: absorption and propulsion phases
  • When your foot is in the air: swing phase

The propulsion force is the force you apply on the ground during the propulsion phase of our swing. Therefore, it is the force that propels you forward.

The science behind propulsion force

The propulsion phase has been widely analysed by scientists. Here are key facts:

  • Propulsive force is increased by greater forward leaning (1)
  • Propulsive phase has the strongest direct link with running economy (2)
  • Body weight support and forward propulsion comprises about  80% of the metabolic demand of running (3)
  • Strides which are too long will require considerable power during propulsion (4)
  • At slower stride rates (and longer stride lengths), the muscles need to develop high external power during propulsion to overcome large braking forces (5)
  • Propulsive phase is key for running economy (6)
  • Propulsion force is directly related to plyometric and resistance trainings (7)

How should I use it?

Propulsion force is a key parameter in your running stride. It will greatly influence performance and efficiency. There are two way of using propulsion force:

  1. If you decrease your propulsion force while keeping the same speed, you enhance your running economy. You will run longer!
  2. If you increase your speed but keep the same propulsion force, you are optimising the force you are generating. You will run faster without getting exhausted!


How can I measure it?

There are not many tools outside of running labs to measure propulsion force. Researchers use force plates which allow measuring one stride. FeetMe Sport is the ultimate running wearable and measures your propulsion force during any run.

Start measuring and optimising your propulsion force with FeetMe Sport go run more efficiently!


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