Competitive or not, a good running form is essential to have. Proper running mechanics can save from injuries and is a big factor in running faster and in a more efficient manner. Practicing these running positions will make a big difference in your running progress. In this article, we will discuss briefly the proper form when running.
The head is an important part of the body to focus on when running. The alignment of the neck and back depends on the position of the head as you run. So when you run, never look down on your feet. The ideal position would be to look straight ahead of you and keep your chin in (don’t let it jut out). Scan the horizon and enjoy the scenery ahead of you. This running form must be maintained at all times.
Shoulders and Torso
Shoulders must be level – don’t let them dip side to side as you run. Maintain a position where they don’t reach your ears and let them loose. Most likely when you start to get tired, you will try to pull your shoulders up out of exhaustion. Never do this. Instead, shake your shoulders to take off the tension. The position of the torso is dependent on the head and the shoulder’s position. The torso must also be in a straight position [stretch yourself up to your full height] in order to breathe more effectively and have an optimum stride length. This running form is commonly referred to as “running tall’ position.
Arms and Hands
The arms must be kept in a relaxed position between the waist and lower chest with the elbows bent at a 90 degree angle. Every swing of the arms helps in propelling the body forward, but never swing across the body. Hands must not be clenched in a tight fist, but should be relaxed and in a position where the fingers are touching lightly the palm of your hands. If you start to feel the tension in your hands, try dropping your arms to your sides and then start to shake them. Do this for a few seconds only.
Legs and Feet
If you are a sprinter, you need to lift your knees high in order to maximize your leg power. But if you are a distance runner, a slight lifting of your knees plus a quick turnover and shorter strides are the appropriate running form. You can’t sustain the high knee lift when you are running for longer distances. As you run, landing in between your heels and midfoot is required with every step, along with hitting the ground lightly. Keep the ankles in a flexed position to promote a better push as you roll yourself forward.
For more information about this article, please check out Discover Proper Running Form, and Run to Finish.