When it comes to improving your running performance, a good diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep are vital. However, did you know that maintaining good posture also significantly impacts how well you run?

The Importance of Good Posture

Your body is programmed to move in an energy-efficient and un-intrusive way in your daily life. This means you have a natural posture designed to prevent you from moving uncomfortably. This is called your ‘neutral posture’ and is key to maintaining good running posture.

When you enter a state of good posture, your body position is optimised to work at its best. Good posture for running means that your core muscles are engaged, a crucial element of your running—they ensure that your body is supported and tension-free when you run. 

Good posture is about alignment, which means having your head in line with your spine, tailbone, and ears. So what happens to this alignment when you run? Your head, spine, and ears are pulled back, while your tailbone is pushed forward. This creates a hyper-extended spine, a position where you’re essentially running with a hunchback.

How Poor Posture Affects Your Running

The hunched position you’re subconsciously trying to maintain while running can result in poor posture and an increased risk of injury.

Poor posture can also lead to a ‘dominant’ side – this is where one side of the body feels more ‘pulled’ and overworked. If a runner has a dominant side, it can significantly impact their running form as they may overcompensate when running on the other side, which can cause imbalance issues. When it comes to running, maintaining good form and posture is essential for injury prevention.

Running with poor posture may cause aches and pains in the lower back, between your shoulder blades, the outside of your knees, and even your feet. It can also cause your gait to be less efficient, negatively impacting your running performance.

Improving Your Posture

It’s not easy to change your posture – especially if you’ve been in the same position for a long time – but with a few minor changes, you can increase your chances of running injury-free! 

Doing simple exercises at home, such as yoga, can help improve your posture. Practising yoga helps your muscles work in harmony, which can help prevent bad posture while running.

Physiotherapy is one of the most effective ways to improve your posture, as it focuses on identifying muscle imbalances, poor movement, and poor posture and working to address these issues. 

A good physiotherapist can help you make changes to your running routine while also identifying and working on any areas of poor posture that you may not even be aware of!

Conclusion

Good posture is key to optimal running performance! You don’t have to change your gait to improve your running posture, but the small changes outlined above will help. As long as you make the necessary changes according to your running assessment, you can help prevent injury, improve your running form and even improve your workout intensity. 

If you want to improve your running performance, get a running analysis at Invigor Health. Our running assessment is the perfect way to analyse your technique and get actionable advice. With our assessment, we can pinpoint how you may be susceptible to injury now or in the future and provide recommendations on preventing it. Book online today!

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