Proper running form

If you’ve experienced sharp shoulder pains after running, have muscle pains at the front and back of your shoulder or your arms are extremely tired after a long run, these could all be indicators of bad running form.  It is important to maintain good running form to prevent injury and ensure energy efficient strides because form affects pace and amount of energy that you expend and conserve. Here are some running form tips from head to feet for you to follow.

Head

It’s tempting to stare at your feet while you run, but try to keep you look ahead to the horizon.  Keep your head in a neutral position, neither tilting your head left or right. Try to straighten your neck and back it to align with each other.  Don’t allow your back to curve.

Shoulders

Keep your shoulders relaxed and level when you run.  Sometimes your shoulders rise up to your ears without even noticing.  This would cause extra strain to your neck and you’ll have muscle pains in your neck and shoulders.   Remember to lower your shoulders and once in a while you should drop your arms to your waist and shake out the tension in your shoulders.

Back

Don’t lean backwards or arch your back backwards.  You’re feet should always be behind you and pushing your body forwards.  Lean your body slightly forwards and keep your head straight.   Your chest should be pointing in the direction you’re running and not to the sky.  Don’t be tempted to look around at other runners, it will only distract you.

Arms

Keep your fist unclenched and loosely let your fingers touch each other as if you were holding egg shells.   Allow your arms to swing back and forth with a 90 degree bend at the elbows.

Legs

Long distance runners need to take short strides with a slight knee lift.  This is in contrast to sprinters who need exaggerated knee lifts and long strides.  Your feet should land directly underneath your body with a slight bend in your knee so it will absorb the impact from the ground.

Feet

For distance running landing on your heel or toes is not the most efficient to run.   If you land on your heel it means that you are over striding and running from your toes usually causes more stress on your calf muscles and more appropriate for sprinting.   Your feet should land lightly between the heel and midfoot and quickly roll forwards and push off your front toe.  You should be feel your calf muscles pushing your forwards.   You should not sound like elephants on a parade.

Related Running Tips:

  1. Stretching for runners
  2. Foot Pain Under Toes
  3. Speed training tips: Hill repeats
  4. Proper running etiquette
  5. Know Your Limits
  6. Apply sunscreen before your run
  7. Strength Training Workouts for Runners



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