I must admit I’m a bit of a data geek, particularly when it comes to sport and fitness. These days, wearable technology enables us to track and analyse a huge range of data, which can be used to help us become faster, fitter and stronger. We are used to tracking our speed, power, distance and calorie expenditure, but how about our biomechanics?
Introducing ViMove2 by dorsaVi
ViMove2 is the latest technology that allows for great insight into movement patterns whilst running. It’s being used by physiotherapists, chiropractors and running coaches who specialise in injury prevention, rehabilitation and performance enhancement for runners.
The system uses small wireless sensors attached to the shins, which record information on the runner’s movements. The data is relayed back to a computer where it’s presented as a detailed report which can be downloaded and used as a benchmark for future testing.
I recently had a personalised running assessment using ViMove2 technology at the Bowskill Clinic in London. Here’s what I learned:
This test measures the direction of knee movement whilst performing movements such as single-leg squats and hops. Knees that roll inwards (valgus) or outwards (varus) while running present an increased risk of injury, particularly if over 10° in either direction. It’s possible for a physiotherapist or coach to identify these flaws by eye, but ViMove2 allows them to really quantify the degree of movement.
I repeated several squats and hops with the sensors on my shins. The results showed that my left knee does collapse in slightly, especially on the single-leg hops. It highlighted to me that I need to continue working on my control and form.
For this test, I ran at a steady pace for 3-4 minutes on a treadmill with a final minute at an increased speed. The sensors on my shins were picking up on a range of metrics:
- Symmetry of left and right leg
- Ground Reaction Force
- Initial Peak Acceleration
- Average Ground Contact Time
- Average Steps Per Minute
- Total Distance
- Average Speed
My results flagged up issues with my biomechanical symmetry- I land with more force on my left leg and my left foot is also in contact with the ground for longer. These type of results indicate an increased risk of stress fractures, which was very interesting as I did indeed have a stress fracture in my left femur in 2015. The data also showed that as I increased my speed, the flaws with my technique and balance also increased.
I’ve done a lot of work on correcting my imbalances and improving my technique, so it was a little disheartening to see that my lazy left leg is still causing issues.
Whilst my testing took place on a treadmill indoors, the ViMove2 sensors can also be used for an outdoor run. I’d be really interested to try running outdoors and compare the two data points. Treadmill running feels unnatural to me, so I believe this may have exacerbated the imbalances in my form. It would also be very useful to see the impact of different variables like footwear, terrain and gradient.
Having access to the information from these tests can be very empowering for runners. It’s non-invasive, quick and highlights the exact areas that need work. The clinic can prescribe corrective exercises to help improve aspects of your mobility, strength and control, then the tests can be repeated periodically to monitor improvements.
Thank you to Jon and Rachel at the Bowskill Clinic for providing my testing. All opinions my own.
Have you ever had a running assessment or used technology to help improve your running form?