Is your body optimized for running?

Harvard’s Daniel Lieberman is one of the two or three people most responsible for the barefoot running boom (Christopher McDougall, who wrote Born to Run, is another… you can vote for who the third should be).

Daniel is an anthropologist and has some fascinating ideas about why the way humans run (and sweat) gave us such an evolutionary advantage.

In this video he talks about some of aspects of human anatomy that suggest we were “made to run.”

I don’t agree that you don’t use your butt when walking. Rather, you can and, in my opinion, should walk with your glutes. In fact, if you use your glutes as the prime movers when you walk, you’re more likely to not overstride and put too much force on your heels when walking. I talk more about walking, barefoot or otherwise, here.

Now, I don’t think that everyone must run. Some like it, some don’t. And I don’t agree that we’re all meant to run long distance (Lieberman doesn’t discuss that here, but it’s something he and I chatted about). But it sure is compelling to see that we may be built so that we CAN run.

What do you think?