Rather than carry this on in the Analyse this thread I thought I would start a new one for this specific question.

It relates to the picture below and KK’s comment

How about this for a “step-over” action!

I have edited the response in with a discussion I have had with another forum member and hope someone can help :cool:

They say there is no such thing as a dumb question so here goes…

What is exactly meant by stepping over the knee? I originally thought it was where the foot was placed in front of the opposite knees position so you had the hips rotating and got one foot in front of the other as illustrated by Charlie in the GPP DVD.

Then talking to someone they said that it was where you were stepping over the height of the opposite knee and the cue was to aid the recovery leg getting high.

Looking at the pic KK posted in the Analyse This thread where he says How about this for a “step-over” action! I assume he is talking about the guy in the middle where it appears to be more in line with my original interpretation.

Can you please help?


No such thing, exactly! Glad you feel free to ask me this!

Even more so because I myself was also a bit surprised to see that comment. I didn’t pay too much attention, as if it was about Obikwelu he is at the triple extension phase and not step over. From what I’ve come to understand step over is when the foot passes next to the opposite knee, yes (or at least this is a good indication of good execution)!

The other thing you are describing is simply hip rotation (as when the feet land in front of each other, if that’s what you mean) as in the DVD.

It’s all simply terminology to me, but obviously it helps to understand what everyone is talking about in the forum.

Anyway, in that sense I am not sure what KK meant; perhaps he was referring to one of the other two guys, as you say -I can’t exactly remember the picture.

So there you go, we’ve got the same “question”

KK the posted

stepover describes the action whereby the foot of the free leg crosses at or above the knee of the support (grounded) leg during the stride cycle. It looks a bit like someone taking a step upwards. By the way, it is during the approach to the cross-over and through until momentarily after it that dorsiflexion occurs.

Did you see KK’s answer in the Analyse this thread?
Did it make sense to you? I would have thought the most appropriate example of getting into the correct step over position would have been the white guy on the left …or am I wrong?


In terms of the actual step over action, yes! Although he isn’t the best running-wise.

What KK was implying though, I think, is that a good step over action sets you well for a nice dorsiflexion, too (short lever, hence the whole leg and foot comes to a good position).But again we have to assume to some extent due to his brief comment.
What do you think?

I was under the impression that step over involved;
recovery foot coming over the top of the drive leg knee
Coming down from the top position, foot dorsoflexed
Steping down towards the point where your feet would be as if you were in a line from your head down, which if you are leaning forward, then the foot steps down almost backward so that at contact, there is a straight line from head to foot
foot coming down slightly ahead of the invisible line, causing longer ground contact times

I am under the impression, that the A skips help develp this. That the A skips are a sort of Step over…

ok so if we are in agreement over what stepover is how does it relate to this picture?
323 is about to step over and Obikwelu (759) has stepped over?

Yours in pedantic enquiry
John :smiley:

i think its more that 759 has already Stepped over and his foot still seems to bo over his trailing leg!!! Still…
Now 759 is about to Step Down, yet his foot is still so high

323 is only able to step over due to his large knee bend (i think), droping his knee further towards the ground due to lack of flexabilty (??) to be able to step over his knee.

348, i cant tell…??

323’s right leg is about to initiate step over. In fact he has good flexibility in the quads allowing him to fold the leg relativley very tightly. The bent knee of the planted leg is not necessarily due to lack of flexibilty but probably the position of his hip girdle and position of the torso, and the strength of the hamstring and the quads’ ability to absorb and hold. These three factors not necessarily all of them can cause this kind of deflection in the support knee.

Obikwelu has already initiated step over, the knee has travelled to its furthest point from the body and is about to travel downwards through hip extension. Obikwelu has superb stride length due to his flexibility in his quads allowing him to fully extend the support leg without internal resistance.

The frenchman (in the middle) is in the process of recovering (the beginning of stepping over) the back leg. The front leg of the Frenchman is in the process of hip extension, it is in the process of completing the stepping over process.

Thanks, you would have got more rep points but apparently I have to share it around :smiley:

Interesting post, i read this as being that the picture showed many different phases in the g-cycle.

As for stepping over, i was watching some videos of Crawford and Gatlin (taken from home video in practice) and noted that Crawford especially steps over with his thigh paralel to the ground. It never quite folds up any further than paralell. Now my understanding is that so long as none of the foot is visible from head on (only the knee cap is showing while pulling the leg throuhg) then the lever is optimally short. Hence, any further decrease in the angle between calf and hamstring may be wasted energy?

I noted that both Gatlin and Powell also exhibit this characteristic. The leg doesn’t fold up much further than parallel to the ground also. This got me wondering if it is a characteristic due to natural anthropometry (body measurements) of taller athletes or whether Trevor/Franno were activly coaching this.

Anyone have any ideas?

Obikwelu who we know has a very high knee lift and PJ’s comment at the bottom of P11 of the Analyse this thread

[i]Following an other thread about knee lift, this is pictures of Francis Big Obikwelu in Athens 2006 meeting (heats) at about 50m.

This looks like more a long jump run-up than sprinting. Look ROM for thighs and arms. And dorsiflexion (pictures 4 5 6).[/i]

is listed as 74kg (163lbs) at 1.95m (6’ 4 ")


Gatlin 79kg (174lbs) at 1.85m (6’ 1")

These body weight readings banded about never cease to amaze me. 6ft 4ins and 74kg? That makes him lighter than Maurice Greene who weighed around 74-75 kg and stood at 5ft 9ins!!! Are thay sure or are they using Francis old body weight when he was a junior?

Thouht so myself but in my naievity thought the IAAF may have been close
:rolleyes:… silly John :stuck_out_tongue:

Regardless of that is there any further discussion of TC’s comment?

seen the movie “the 4 minute mile”?
in it there is a scene of a guy doing hurdle training
one top of each of the hurdles is half a glass of water
as the guy passes over the hurdles, the water has to be disturbered within the glass and the glass is not allowed to be knocked off the hurdle, to do this, the guy traveling over the hurdle has to just very slightly touch the hurdle. This in theory will hive him the exact perfect height to travel. not too high and not too low. Just right.

perhaps we could devise something similiar for “step over”
a water balloon attached to your uppper hamstring, hit it and you get wet but you still need to be stepping over!!
silly, yes,
impractical, yes,
am i tired, ill go away now!

Similar scene in Chariots of Fire if I recall with the rich guy in front of a lake.

No wonder you’re tired, must be around 5.30am there? Mind you that is tame compared to my 4.30am wake up :eek:

what if u have an athlete that is having problems stepping over, what can be done?

First, check for quad flexibility and then stress relaxation and stepping down and NOT pushing back.

i agree he has very tight quads, i was hoping to learn more about this step down tech in the dvd but u didnt cover it much.

also i thought the step over is used in the top speed phase.

When you work with the athletes, the less said the better! As long as they don’t push back along the ground, they should find their technique corrects itself. Shoving back or struggling for a long step is DEATH to speed (pass that along to the GURUs).
See the GPP DVD for exactly what I mean.
In the track portion, just look at Lindsay’s form (after you finish looking at her form!).
That was developed using exactly what you see there- nothing else!

i thought in the acc phase u want to push back into the track. maybe im misunderstaning u

Do me a favor.
1: Run a 20m accel as hard as you can.
2: Run a 20m accel where you just scramble out and forget about stride length.
Have them timed and report back.

i think we are misunderstanding one another.