Running Form ~ Tuesday Tips

| April 30, 2013 | 9 Comments

It’s important to consider your form while running because being in a proper running position will not only reduce your risk of injury but it will also help you to propel your body forward with ease and allow you to breathe more efficiently, making your runs faster and longer with less effort and energy expenditure. Maintaining a relaxed position and upright posture with your head, shoulders and hips lined up over your feet is the optimal running position. Here is a breakdown of ideal running form starting from your head to your toes:

Head: Keep your chin up and your eyes looking forward toward the horizon. Watch the road and try to run with as little bounce as possible. Use your ears to listen to the sound of your feet hit the ground, now try to run as quietly as possible to reduce the impact. Keep your jaw and face relaxed as you breath in through your mouth into your belly, fully inflating your diaphragm.

Shoulders: Keep your shoulders relaxed and parallel to the ground.

Arms/Hands: Bend your elbows at 90 degrees and keep them close to your waist. They should move forward and back in an arc position and should not cross the centerline of your body. Your wrists should be straight with your thumb and middle fingers lightly touching and fists unclenched.

Back: Keep your spine upright with your abdominals pulled in. Try to avoid excessive forward or backward lean.

Chest: Keep your chest lifted up as it leads the way as you run. Strong abdominal muscles help maintain this form.

Hips: The pelvis is tucked under with hips forward, which helps to maintain proper alignment with head, shoulders and hips.

Legs/Feet: Keep your feet moving in a forward/backward direction and keep them underneath you. Your feet should stay low to the ground so you can increase leg turnover and stride frequency to run faster instead of over extending. Foot strike and stride length are natural but try to land with the heels first and roll off the feet.

Happy running!  Michelle 🙂

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Category: Fitness, Tips, Weekly Themes, Wellness

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  1. Steve says:

    As someone who only started running myself in Aug. 2012., I would also suggest that equally important to everything you say is proper warmup, good shoes (properly laced and sized) and finishing off with proper stretching. This will help to ensure a highly successful outing each and every time. A good follow posting might be on some the popular running programs to get started (running room, Couch to 5k, etc) and stay motivated whatever your lifestyle, building upon “I CAN do this!”, not the ever common, too easy “I CAN’T, I’m too tired, etc”. Good, helpful article.

  2. Michelle says:

    Hi Steve, thank you for your comment! Yes, you are right, a proper warm-up and cool-down PLUS stretching is an important component of any exercise program. Stay tuned for a follow-up article where I share information on how to select the proper shoe based on the activity you are participating in. In the meantime you can head over to my facebook page @michellefitca (sorry, I can’t post direct links here) where I’ll be posting my latest appearance on RogersTV Daytime. During the segment I discuss the differences between various types of running shoes. I should receive the DVD from Rogers in a week or so 🙂

  3. Sandie W says:

    I’m not a runner, but this is very helpful. I would like to start running and now I’ve got what my body position should be. Thanks for the helpful info. Also, thanks to Steve for the reminder to properly warm-up.

  4. Michelle says:

    You are most welcome Sandie. Glad I could help!

  5. Very useful tips indeed, I have shared this with the many runners I see arounf town! ;D

  6. Michelle says:

    Awesome! Thanks so much Enrique! Happy running 🙂

  7. Patricia says:

    Now that the sun is starting to come out again, I’m definitely going to get back into running. These are great tips!

  8. Michelle says:

    Thank you Patricia! And good for you 🙂 I’m about to share a post on selecting the proper shoe for your sport so be sure to check that out this week!

  9. kathy downey says:

    Very useful tips indeed,will share with my sister she runs

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