Running may seem like a simple, fail-proof form of exercise (unlike, say, gymnastics), but even running has its own technique and form that you should be employing. Being aware of your running form and adjusting your posture accordingly can make a huge difference in your running success. Here are a few guidelines to proper running form.
Proper Running Posture and Technique:
- Head: Good running form starts at the top. Keep your head up and let your eyes gaze ahead at the majestic horizon (or person in front of you at the gym), and your neck and back will naturally straighten into the correct alignment.
- Shoulders: Tense not, young grasshopper! Let your shoulders relax and hang loose. If you notice you run with them scrunched up by your ears, then periodically shrug and roll them down throughout your run.
- Arms: Your arms should swing naturally forward and back (Not across your torso. That’s what all the boys meant when they said “run like a girl” in Phys. Ed). Elbows should be bent around 90 degrees, and your hands should be relaxed, not clenched.
- Torso: Ever had a coach tell you to “run tall”, and had no idea what s/he meant? Basically it means not hunching your back, or leaning forward too much while you run. If you already have your head up and shoulders relaxed, then “running tall” should happen naturally at this point. Run with an upright back and you’ll breathe easier as well.
- Legs and feet: Bend your knees. It may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but landing on a straight leg, instead of a bent knee, can wreak havoc on your joints. So, seriously, keep your knees slightly bent for each step you land on. Avoid running flat-footed (if your feet make a slapping sound with each step, you are running flat-footed), and instead roll through your feet from heel to toe with each step. Your vertical motion should be minimized, and your legs should “flow underneath you.
A video on good running form:
Ready to go for a run? Try out this 15-minute Beginner Run.