"Good Running Technique -- Correcting Your Jogging Form"
Most people go out and run and this works fine for them. If you, however, are not one of these people and have problems with your running form, read on to learn the correct running technique.
Poor running technique wastes energy and can cause injuries to your legs and feet. Good running posture means holding your back, shoulders and neck straight. Most importantly, do not slouch.
Adapted from Jeff Galloway’s books on running and some other published articles, below are some tips to help you correct your running/ jogging posture.
Look towards the horizon, keep your head on top of your spine and don’t bow forward or look at the ground. This is to ensure that your body is erect when you are running. Relax your face and jaws as well. Keep your chin from pointing towards the sky as well, a common practice by runners especially when they are tired.
Roll your shoulders back but keep them relaxed and loose. Rigid and tensed shoulders and neck will waste energy and tire you quickly. Plus, scrunching your shoulders to your ears only makes it harder for you to run.
You will get the ideal running posture by stretching yourself up with no strain from your torso. You will be able to breathe maximally and put your body in the optimal dynamics to move forwards.
Make sure that your torso and head are aligned properly as it will automatically put your hips in the right alignment. If it causes your hips to tilt forward too much, it will strain your lower back. It’s ok to lean in a bit from your waist if you feel running with a perfectly straight back is too tense for you.
To preserve energy for long distance runs, keep your knees low and strides short. If you are aiming for speed, lengthen your strides by using your ankles and calf muscles.
Arms and Hands
Make sure that your arms are close and loose at your sides. Let them swing forward and back instead of across your body. Hold the swings low with your elbows bent at a 90 degrees angle and relaxed.
Lightly cup your hands into relaxed fists with your thumbs up and touching lightly the top half of your index finger. Imagine that you are holding your pet hamster; loose enough to not strangle him but tight enough so that he won’t slip through your hands.
Constricted muscles will make it harder for you to breathe so relax your posture while you are running. To maximize inhalation, exhale fully.
When running uphill, maintain your rhythm and put on the same effort. However, do it with shorter and slower strides. Let gravity does its work when you are running downhill. Let it pull you down but take control. Your strides will automatically lengthen but do not let it extend too much as the pounding will wear out your legs.
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