Key Elements To Proper Running Form


Running is a popular sport because it generally doesn’t require much more than just putting on some good shoes and heading out the door. You can add things like a well-reviewed treadmill for indoor training and branded workout clothes, but your running form is an important player when it comes to your running.

By addressing the key elements of a proper running form, you can avoid injuries common among new and less experienced runners so you can keep running for years to come.

Address Your Upper Body Running Form

Your running form affects your entire body, not just your legs. If you have noticed tension in your upper body or unexplained aches, your upper body running form may be to blame. To help you correct, check these things:

  • Head and shoulders – Your head will have a tendency to droop forward as you run. This position can create a great deal of tension in your neck and shoulders, as well as potentially impeding your ability to breathe effectively. Keep your head up and your gaze on what’s ahead of you, not under your feet. Make sure you drop your shoulder, as they often hunch if your head is dropping forward.
  • Arms and hands – To allow for proper breathing while running, your arms should swing freely at your sides and not come higher than a 90-degree angle. Also, your arms should not cross the middle vertical line of your body, as this movement can restrict your breathing. You should also keep your hands in an open, slightly cupped position to keep from building tension in your body.
  • Torso – Your torso is the linchpin of your body, and if you hunch as you run, you are going to affect both your upper and lower body. By straightening your spine and engaging your core muscles as you run, you will require less energy to keep moving forward and stop throwing your body out of movement sync.

Critical Elements Of Lower Body Running Form

While many people know that their lower body running form is an important part of their running success, they don’t always know what to do to ensure their form is correct. As you go on your next run, consider these running form points:

  • Hips – As you run, keep your hips—not your torso—tilted forward slightly. While it may feel a little odd the first few times you focus on it, this form adjustment will allow you to use more of the power your glutes contain for better and stronger running
  • Knees – When some runners pick up their paces, they often pick their knees up too high for correct running form. Your steps should be quite short in vertical height, as this means your feet will directly strike below your knee, removing some of the impact.
  • Legs – Your gait will look different than other runners, as runners come in various shapes and sizes. One thing when it comes to your legs is that you should try to make sure your shin is at a 90-degree angle when your foot strikes the ground. Much like with your knees, your legs will take the impact better at a perpendicular angle, allowing the shock to more evenly disperse across your lower body.
  • Feet – Ideally, your feet strike the ground with the balls of your feet, also called a mid-foot strike. When you heel or forefoot strike, the impact can cause a lot of undue strain on your body. You may need a shoe with motion control if you really struggle with overpronation or oversupination.

If you need a cushioned treadmill to help protect your joints and encourages proper running posture, be sure to check out the best treadmills under $1,500 for affordable, high-quality treadmills.