How to Run Properly – The Right Running Posture

We were born to run. However, this statement might be far from the truth to some of us. Running is something that doesn’t come naturally to all of us. It is something that we are never exactly taught about.

When you are an athlete and running means more to you than just a routine activity, you need to start paying attention to your running technique. It is very important in order to help you avoid injuries and perform at your best.

“When you get into running, you should start slow and easy and be conscious of your running form,” says Thomas Watson who is a running coach and the writer of a Marathon Handbook.

Whether you’re an experienced runner who has been to many marathons or you are just starting out, these six tips will help you get your body used to the ideal running form:

1.  Look ahead

While it may be attractive to observe and see the passing scenery on your run, it would be best if you keep your eyes straight on the goal. Don’t stare at your feet. Your eyes should be focused on the ground about 10 to 20 feet ahead of you.

Your head needs to remain in line with the rest of your body. This is not only the proper form for running, but it also makes it safe for you to run because you can see what is coming ahead. In this way, you can avoid tripping over something and any resulting injury.

Your head should not extend forward while you are running. It can put pressure and stress on your shoulder and neck muscles which can ultimately cause tension. That’s why you make sure that your head doesn’t lean forward while you run.

2.  Keep your hands at your waist

Try to keep your hands at your waist, right about where they might lightly brush your hips. Bend your arms at a 90-degree angle. Some beginners hold their hands way up by their chest, especially when they get tired.

You might actually get even more tired and exhausted if you do this. It can also create tension and tightness in your neck and shoulders. Do note that if you are running at a top speed especially for a short distance, your arms will naturally drive your hands further back and up.

3.  Relax your hands

This comes more naturally for some people rather than others. Some people have the tendency to run with their hands curled into fists, so they have to be intentional about relaxing them. While you’re running, try to keep your hands and arms as relaxed as possible.

Do not tighten your hands into fist. If you are holding your hands in a tight grasp, it will create unnecessary tension. This tension can move from your hands up your arms to your shoulders and neck.

Your hands don’t need to be completely open either. Just make a loose, relaxed fist. Try to avoid clenching your fists too tightly. Pretend that you’re holding an egg that you don’t want to break or supporting a potato chip between your thumb and forefinger.

4.  Breathe efficiently

We all know how to breathe and that’s why we have gotten this far, but many people make mistakes when trying to breathe properly while running. There are a few important symptoms of this issue that you should be looking out for. They include having tense shoulders and experiencing tension in your face and neck.

One thing that you need to remember is that you will need to use your full lung capacity for running. That means breathing more than purely from your rib cage. It will increase your energy levels and improve your performance and concentration.

The best way to breathe properly while running is to use both your nose and mouth for the purpose. It will keep your breathing steady and engage your diaphragm for maximum oxygen intake. It will also help you to expel carbon dioxide quickly.

5.  Keep your shoulders relaxed

Don’t raise or hunch your shoulders. Try to keep them down and away from your ears. It will also help you develop tolerance to stress. Hunching your shoulders can strain your muscles which can eventually cause neck stiffness. It can cause rotator cuff injury and muscle soreness as well.

That is why it is important to roll your shoulders back and down and try to keep them relaxed. If your shoulders are bunched up around your ears, it will not only make it harder for you to breathe but it will also restrict your overall body movement.

6.  Check your posture

You really need to focus on keeping a good posture. Here are a few quick points to note down:

1.    Start by leaning forward with your shoulders relaxed and engage your core as you do so.

2.    Maintain a straight spine.

3.    Keep your shoulders aligned and directly above your hips.

4.    Relax your arms, look straight ahead and avoid looking down at the ground.

5.    Your head should be up, your back straight, and shoulders level.

6.    Keep your shoulders under your ears and make sure you’re not leaning forward or backward at your waist – that is what some runners do after they get tired.

Remember to check your posture once in a while because poor posture makes running slow and painful. These positional or angle issues may seem very subtle, but they have a massive effect on your running efficiency.

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