Running is great, we love it, we put our trainers on and go….
Some of you in recent weeks might have just taken up running so this post is for you.
This post is also for others that have found they have niggles setting in or just want to see if they can improve their form. You might be a regular runner too, increasing your runs with the current situation we find ourselves in.
Most of us have tight muscles and inactive muscles, and in order to know a few assessments would need to take place. Some of which you would need the help of someone like myself (a corrective exercise Specialist) and some you can do yourself.
In order to be an efficient runner and remain injury free, technique and training volume needs to be suitable for your fitness levels.
For example, someone new to running who sits at a desk all day shouldn’t be going out 5-7 days a week running. You will soon become injured without proper mobility and a corrective exercise plan. This might include corrective exercise exercises for tight shoulders (often seen in desk workers) aswell as poor posture etc. Lack of mobility, poor alignment, inactive muscles and incorrect form causes faulty movement patterns and potential injury.
Equally someone who is more active but combined gym and running, might now increase the frequency they go running. If their form is incorrect causing faulty movement patterns then that’s more stress on the body and could lead to increase risk of injury.
So how can I help?
I am going to go through a few key areas to check when running to help improve form. Use this as a guide.
- Head – Keep your head up, looking forward. Think about your posture. Keep your gaze ahead, try not to look down at your feet. By keeping the gaze ahead and head in neutral your posture is aligned and your running will be easier.
- Shoulders – keep them down and relaxed. Hunching the shoulders and rounding them isn’t opening the chest up to get air in. It’s also going to alter your posture and therefore the energy is comprised. Keep the chest out and shoulders down.
- Arms – have a 90 degree bend in the elbow, swing the arms by your side and don’t let them cross over the body, this wastes energy. Use the arms by your side (Not wide) to help propel you forwards. Efficient arms will create less twisting in the torso and more efficient form.
- Hands – try not to create fists with your hands. Relax the hands, rest the thumb on the forefinger and in sprinting make sure the fingers are straight and touching to increase aerodynamics.
- Core – keep core tight. Imagine your wearing a tight pair of trousers, pull your tummy in and this protects your back. It will limit torso rotation and increase pelvic stability.
- Legs – make sure your feet don’t cross over infront of the body. Imagine a line and your running either side of it. Make sure your knees cave in. Kick your heels up behind you, cycling the legs back so you land naturally hitting the ground below your knees. With all the above this will throw you forward a little and may have the effect of helping you run a little faster.
Practice these points and don’t worry about forgetting them. The more you practice here and there during your runs the more natural it will feel and become second nature.
Now for those that want a more detailed assessment this is where Corrective exercise assessments can help you become a more efficient runner. It can help you by decreasing the risk of injury due to imbalances in the muscles. And who doesn’t want to stave off those pesky injuries?!
So feel free to contact me for more information.