Jog, Baby, Jog!

As a new parent, there are plenty of things to be afraid of; diapers, germs, sleepless nights, the list goes on and on. For a lot of people running is a great way to de-stress but your new baby jogger may be one more fear you have to conquer.

When new parents try to run with a baby jogger, it’s like they forgot how to run all together. They look awkward and have a hard time getting into a rhythm. A recent study in Gait & Posture look at the changes in your body mechanics when running with a baby jogger versus running without a baby jogger. These researchers thought they would find a change in the speed, stride length and leg mechanics when running with a baby jogger. They were pleasantly surprised.

The study included 15 participants, all of which had not used a baby jogger in the past year. There was no significant difference in running speed, stride length or cadence between the stroller and no stroller trials. Researchers also expected a difference at the knee and ankle joints but that was not the case. They did however find that when using a jogger, there was an increase in forward lean and anterior pelvic tilt. This can cause hip flexor tightness and limit your hip extension when running. They also found that there was less rotation of the trunk because the runner’s arms were fixed on the jogger.

The changes in anterior pelvic tilt and hip range of motion may lead to low back and sacroiliac joint issues. Decreased hip extension causes the hip flexor tightness. A lack of trunk rotation may also cause spine stiffness. If you have a new running buddy to push around, it’s important to incorporate core strengthening and trunk mobility to your exercise program.

Kathleen Leninger, DPT

-O’Sullivan,R., Kiernan,D., Malone, A. Run kinematics with and without a jogging stroller. Gait & Posture. 43 (2016);220-224.