Young man is running in nature

Whether you’re a runner who logs hundreds of miles weekly, or a beginner looking to start their fitness journey, you must learn, practise and master the art of proper running form so you don’t end up in the emergency room. Many injuries haunt runners, namely: stress fractures, ankle sprains, knee injuries, shin splints, back pains, to name a few. In this article, you can re-examine your running form and how it holds up to standard practice so you can improve your running, and as a result, your overall health.

Proper Running Form Tips

1. Keep Your Eyes Out Front

Don’t fix your gaze on your toes. Your eyes should be fixed around 10 to 20 feet in front of you on the ground. Not only is this a sound running form, but it is also a safer method to run because you can see any obstacles ahead and avoid them.

2. Keep the Shoulders Low and Loose

Shoulders play a crucial part in keeping your upper body relaxed while running, essential for good running posture. As a rule, keep your shoulders loose and low and not raised or tensed. Don’t allow them to creep up toward your ears. If they do, give them a good shake to relieve the strain. Each stride should also keep your shoulders level and not droop from side to side.

3. Keep Your Hands Relaxed

Your hands should be as loose and relaxed as possible while you’re running. Avoid making fists with your hands. If you clench your hands, the tension will travel up your arms, to your shoulders, and ultimately to your neck. This will drain your energy faster as well as lead to a slower running pace.

4. Maintain an Upright Posture

The posture of your head and shoulders affects the position of your body while jogging. Your torso and back automatically straighten when you run in an efficient, upright position that optimizes optimal lung capacity and stride length with your head up and looking ahead and your shoulders low and flexible. Many track coaches refer to this ideal torso position as “running tall,” which implies stretching yourself to your maximum height while straightening your back.

5. Keep Your Legs Engaged

The legs are the most visible running aspect and are accountable for a large portion of the effort your body makes. Good running form actively employs the glutes and hamstrings to control the leg, rather than letting it passively swing back and forth to get the most bang for your buck.

6. Tread Lightly With Your Feet

When you run, your feet suffer a lot of punishment, but if you pay attention, you can prevent most of it. As you walk forward, heavy footfalls or shuffling feet both put more strain on your body.

Landing hard or dragging your feet down the ground, just like with your arm swing, is a waste of energy. Instead, be aware of your step and attempt landing a little lighter or bringing up your feet a little faster to save time and avoid overstriding.

Conclusion

Running is a great activity that many of our clients enjoy for health, fitness and leisure.

However, running injuries are prevalent, with up to 80% of runners injuring themselves in any given year. Running injuries are usually caused by training faults, muscular imbalances, or technique flaws – all of which may be improved.

At Invigor Health, we provide injury prevention physiotherapy in Bondi Beach and running assessments, so you can run confidently and without pain. See how we can help by booking a consultation today!

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