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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nelson

The many effects of increasing cadence

An advantage of changing running cadence (steps per minute), is that it has a wide-ranging impact on a number of different variables.

From Heiderscheit's 2011 study, we see that increasing cadence by 5% resulted in:

  • reduced loading of the knee 20%

  • reduced step length,

  • foot landed closer to the body,

  • reduced braking forces,

  • reduce the vertical excursion of the centre of mass,

  • reduced peak adduction angle of the hip,

  • reduced peak flexion angle of the knee during stance phase

An increase in 10% resulted in:

  • reduced loading of the hip

  • reduced stance duration

  • reduced inclination of the foot at initial ground contact

  • reduced peak vertical ground reaction force

  • increased rating of perceived exertion

  • reduced peak flexion angle of the hip

  • reduced peak hip adduction torque

  • reduced peak hip internal rotation torque

  • increased knee flexion angle at initial ground contact

  • reduced peak knee extension torque

IF we are altering a runner's cadence, we ascribe to the mantra "change the least to affect the most". In other words, if we increase cadence, we want to do so by the smallest amount to achieve the desired result. It would be very rare for us to increase someone's cadence by as much as 10%

If you need help with your running gait, please don't hesitate to reach out to us! We offer both in-person & telehealth assessments.






  • Heiderscheit, B. C., et al. (2011). "Effects of step rate manipulation on joint mechanics during running." Med Sci Sports Exerc 43(2): 296-302.

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