What is vertical oscillation?
When you run, your center of mass (basically your pelvis) moves up and down. Vertical oscillation measures the amount of “bounce” – i.e. vertical up and down movement of your center of mass.
The science behind vertical oscillation
Scientists have studied vertical oscillation very widely. Here are the key facts:
- Lower vertical oscillation appears to benefit running economy (1)
- Significant correlations between running economy and vertical oscillation of the center of mass (2)
- There is a significant decrease in vertical oscillation in mountain ultra-marathon race (3)
- Increasing vertical oscillation leads to increase in oxygen uptake, reducing running economy (4)
How should I use it?
Collectively, these results imply that reducing the magnitude of vertical oscillation will increase the running economy. If you reduce your vertical oscillation, you will spend less energy bouncing (and you can use this energy to run faster or longer).
Vertical oscillation is therefore a key parameter for running economy.
How can I measure it?
There are no robust tools outside of running labs to measure vertical oscillation. Watches can’t measure what’s going on under your feet and therefore cannot measure accurately your vertical oscillation.
FeetMe Sport will help you measure and reduce your vertical oscillation. Get your personal running coach to increase your running economy!