How Posture Can Affect Your Running Form

How Posture Can Affect Your Running Form
When we think about running, we probably often imagine putting on some comfy workout clothes, putting on the right socks, and lacing up sneakers in order to hit the road our treadmill. Oh, and don’t forget the smartwatch, hat, water bottle, and sunscreen!

All of these things are potentially necessary (especially if it’s sunny outside), but there ends up being so much more to it than just dressing for the miles. Besides preparing and dressing for comfort, we can also decrease the risk of injury and run faster – and farther – by running correctly. The phrase “form is king” is applicable in many different areas, especially in sports like powerlifting, but did you know it’s just as important when you run?

The Importance Of Posture In Running

Your posture can have a major effect on the way that you run, from the way your head leans, the arch in your spine, and the way your arms swing as your feet hit the ground. No one person is going to run exactly the same as another, but there are some similarities across the board that can lead to better running form and posture. From elite athletes to the recreational runner, making small tweaks to running form can help make hitting the pavement (or treadmill) a bit more enjoyable – and can even reduce the risk of injury.

Let’s look at a few different tips that you can incorporate into your routine to see what can be improved!

Running Posture Starts In Your Feet

Beginning from the bottom up, check your feet. A whole lot of time could be spent describing how to make sure you’re wearing the proper running shoes, but we’ll save that for another day. For now, make sure that the shoes you are wearing are supportive, and suitable for the terrain that you typically run on. Aside from shoes, pay attention to how your feet move while you run. Do they roll in? Do they roll out? You can even look at the bottom of your running shoes and see where they are wearing the most. Check out your local running store to help you find the best supportive shoe for your running style!

Hips And Back

Next, come the hips and back. Your hip flexors (muscles deep within the hip region) and their corresponding flexibility determine just how quickly you can move your feet while running. If there isn’t a ton of force coming from your hips, you’re going to find that your stride will change, and this can lead to decreased performance. When running, you want to try and stay as upright as possible – no need for a forward lean here, since it will most likely have you hunching over while pounding the pavement (and shortening the hip flexors). If there is a forward lean, it should be from the ankles, so you’re not technically leaning forward from the waist.

Shoulders And Arms

As we move up the body, you want your shoulders to be relaxed, and in a down and back position. Ideally, you want your hands to be relaxed as well, but the arms play a crucial part in running correctly. With that being said, your arms should be bent around a 90-degree angle as they swing and this swinging motion should come from the shoulders, and not the elbow. this not only helps produce more energy but will keep your arms from flailing unnecessarily while you run.

The Head

Lastly, your head. If you find yourself leaning forward with your head and neck, this can slow your pace greatly. While you’re running, try and keep your head neutral with your spine, only gazing down towards the road or trail with your eyes instead of your whole head.

These tips can take a while to implement, especially if you’re used to one particular way of running. Adapting to a new style, and putting yourself into a better anatomical position, will not only help you run faster but will make you more efficient and pain-free all the way around!

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