Body Weight Support and Cadence

Body Weight Support and Cadence

In this edition of the LEVER Movement blog we're going to go a bit in depth in the research area, specifically focusing on Body Weight Support and how it relates to cadence while running.

A 2019 study by Stockland, Giveans, and Ames looked at the effect of running with Body Weight Support on a treadmill and how it influenced running cadence.

The purpose of the study was to inspect how self selected running cadence (or step rate) was influenced by running on a treadmill with Body Weight Support. The secondary purpose was to analyze if the self selected and increased cadence is impacted by the amount of Body Weight Support being used.

For this study, thirty participants were selected and ran on a treadmill at a comfortable pre-determined speed. Cadence was recorded as the amount of Body Weight Support changed between trials.

After the trials the researchers concluded that there was an effect on self selected running cadence as the amount of body weight was reduced. Analysis found that cadence decreased 1.5-3.5% in line with 10% body weight being reduced in standardized stages.

They concluded:

"Decreasing bodyweight...yields a significant and linear decrease in running cadence when performed at a self-selected, moderate intensity pace."