Experts agree: there’s no such thing as the perfect running technique. Everyone’s different and has their own style. However, there are certain techniques and tips that can help you run faster and further – while also helping prevent injury. Just a few small tweaks to your posture can bring big benefits for your performance and body. Improving your form will also make your runs more enjoyable so you’re more likely to stick to your goals. Result! 108 Health & Fitness // coachmag.co.uk.
Give Your Running Technique an MOT And See Your Performance Improve Photo Gallery
RUNNING KNOWLEDGE HEAD
Keep your head in line with your spine by looking straight ahead, with your eyes fixed on a point about 10 to 20 metres ahead of you. Run fall and keep your head relaxed and in motion with your body – letting it bob or sway around can affect your biomechanics and gait, making running harder and increasing your risk of injury. Remember, your head weighs around 5kg, so good posture is essential! SHOULDERS Keep your shoulders pulled down and your upper back strong. This will allow your arms to move correctly and drive you forward. Feeling tense? Take a few moments to shake your arms out and take a few deep breaths.
Keep your hands relaxed with your fingers gently closed. Rest your thumb on your forefinger with a light pressure. Relaxed hands help to prevent upper body stiffness.
Keep your elbows at a 90° angle, tucked in close to your body. This will help you conserve energy. Think of your arms as two pistons moving forwards and back in time with your legs, to help propel you forward. Don’t let your arms swing over the centre line of your body – this can put you off balance and lead to injury.
Employing your core muscles can help improve your running speed, efficiency and stability. Think about gently pulling your lower core muscles in, from your tummy button to your pelvic floor. Try to run tall with your core muscles about 30 per cent active. HIPS Your hips are your centre of gravity and key to good running posture. Once you’ve got your torso strong and upright, your hips should fall info alignment, with your feet in line with your hips. Aim to keep them level and facing forwards. Avoid sticking your bottom out and tilting your pelvis too far forward as this can lead to tight lower-back muscles.
To build strong glutes, keep your stride length short and focus on a slight knee lift and quick leg turnover. Imagine your legs are working in circular motion from the hips. This will create a fluid forward movement and conserve energy. Keep your ankles relaxed.
Do your feet make a loud noise when they hit the ground? If so, they’re creating too much impact. Run with light feet so they spring off the ground rather than pound it. Make sure your feet meet the ground directly under your hips, landing lightly between your heel and middle to front of your foot, quickly rolling forward. Transfer your weight evenly from one foot to the other, avoiding clenching your toes.
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