Video Analysis: The Framing Concept
Timing, in running as it is in life, is everything. The consequences of poor timing can be catastrophic or they can be minor annoyances quickly forgotten. No matter what the case, whenever you can control timing, it works to your advantage. So it is when you run, and that’s where the framing concept comes in.
In framing concept, timing doesn’t refer to the amount of time it takes you to complete a given distance, but to the closely synchronized movements of your body as it moves. For example, timing of pulling your foot off the ground is crucial in running.
What is running? Crudely put, it is the act of moving your body through space and time, from point A to point B down the road or trail. This act, however, is not just wandering but an attempt to move across a predetermined amount of space in the minimum possible amount of time.
Another way to describe running is the repetition of a set of poses designed to efficiently and quickly change support from one foot to the next. For the highest level of running, you must repeat these poses as perfectly as possible, as quickly as possible. Most importantly, they must be repeated with precise coordination, with every pose being synchronized with the movement of the body in space.
Timing in running and in any athletic or non athletic movement is the difference between getting injured or moving along, being efficient or spending more effort than necessary.
A traditional movie camera exposes 24 frames per second. Newer video standards support 120, 240, or 300 frames per second, allowing frames to be evenly multiplied for common frame rates such as 24 fps film and 30 fps video, as well as 25 and 50 fps video in the case of 300 fps displays. Here’s an excellent article to help you understand the frame rate of the camera better.
To see how that applies in video analysis picture this – a movie camera tracks alongside you as you run. The lens frames you so that your head is at the top of the frame and the ground forms the bottom of the frame. The two sides of the frame are closely cropped on either side of your body. So when you examine the footage frame-by-frame, you have an excellent visual representation of your running and the camera never lies. That’s why video analysis is such an important part of training and coaching. To make sense of the footage it helps to know how to analyze it. The framing concept is part of the video analysis in the Pose Method.
In running ads they often use the worst images of runners committing the worst running technique errors, here’s a good example of one shot with 3 technique errors that are easy to identify: heel strike, straight knee and late pull.
The Framing Concept
The first thing to understand is that any time any part of your body leaves the frame of the picture, you’ve committed a technique error. For example, if the ‘swing’ foot (the one that is in the air) moves out of the frame to the back (behind you), then what happened is that it remained on the ground too long, rather than being pulled up immediately under the hip joint. While that foot was stuck to the ground, the body moved on past it, resulting in a foot trailing the body. Now the trailing foot is engaged in a game of catch-up, requiring other muscles to come to the rescue and bring the foot forward. This increases the energy expenditure and results in increased fatigue and sometimes injuries.
So, you’re now both working harder and running slower. Slower, because the foot stayed too long on the ground and harder because of the extra work being performed.
Conversely, if the ‘swing’ foot goes out the front of the frame, then it has been straightened and pushed forward. Again the timing is destroyed and poor performance is the result. First, by being in front of the body, the foot causes a braking effect. There is no way to lift the foot until the body is over the foot, so there is no forward progress while the body is in catch-up mode. Worse, by being in front of the body, the leg absorbs the full impact of the body’s weight, greatly increasing the risk of injury.
Bad timing leads to poor performance and injuries. The framing concept helps simplify the task of identifying the problem and quickly correcting it. This process can be learned and used out on the field or at the office. This is part of what makes the Pose Method a standard for health and fitness professionals.
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