In November of 2014, we were contacted by Paul DeVita, Ph.D., a Professor and Director of the Biomechanics Laboratory at East Carolina University.
He wrote to let us know that he and several members of his team had started skipping and were in the process of initiating a biomechanical comparison of skipping and running that would take quite some time to complete. Of course, this was music to our ears since skipping research has been sparse throughout the seventeen years iSkip.com has been existence.
Here’s the description of their research project from the East Carolina University website,
“Locomotion comparison between skipping and running gaits. It appears that skipping may provide greater aerobic and cardiovascular training than running and it may provide this benefit while creating lower skeletal loads than running.
We are comparing locomotion biomechanics including knee and Achilles tendon loads and metabolic cost while skipping and running at the same speed. Suppose skipping were to have these advantages? We wonder if people would incorporate some amount of skipping in their total training program.”
DeVita and his colleague Jessica McDonnell have been busy conducting and preparing their research for the past year and a half. First they trained twenty fit individuals to be sure they were comfortable skipping on the treadmill. Then they had them skip and run at 6 miles an hour for 5 minutes with each gait so they could determine things like metabolic cost, lower extremity muscle function, and knee joint loads.
This conclusion from an abstract Jessica presented in February of 2015 at UNC Chapel Hill speaks to the heart of their research/
“Running injury rates continue to increase as participation climbs. The overuse injuries most commonly associated with this population are largely impacted by GRFs and loads on lower extremity tissues. While skipping is currently under-represented in the literature and in practice, based on information available we propose skipping as an alternative form of exercising potentially healthier than running in that GRFs are lower and metabolic demand higher.”
We’re excited to announce that DeVita and McDonnell’s experimental data will be ready to share with the world sometime this year! They presented their findings at a regional biomechanics meeting at UNC-Chapel Hill in February and they will also be writing a manuscript about their research for for journal review this summer. And, of course, we’ll be sharing the news here on iSkip as soon as we’re able!