In every sport, there are certain techniques and strategies that need to be employed in order to ensure proper execution and efficiency. Similar to running, following a correct running form leads to improved efficiency and performance, and less visits to your local Land O Lakes chiropractor.
Employing a proper running form provides a lot of advantages to every runner. Each and every correct position, execution and stride provides their own advantages leading to a holistic way of running efficiently. The following are the correct running form and how they increase running efficiency:
- Proper running posture
The right posture for running minimizes stress or fatigue in the neck and shoulder area making you run as comfortable as possible. This leads to reduced muscle aches and fatigue after your activity. The more comfortable you are in running, the more your body is eager to increase performance. A proper running posture involves the following:
- Head in neutral position. Avoid leaning your head forward as this increases the weight of the head placed on the neck preventing you from increasing your speed. Also, make sure not to set your head backwards as this will strain your back and legs as well.
- Avoiding tensing your jaw. Most beginners will tense their jaws during running. This leads to a tensed face and neck area and will make your running tiring and inefficient.
- Relaxed shoulders. When your shoulders are relax, you glide your hands better, which can subsequently increase the propelling action of your body. If you feel that your shoulders are too tight, shake your arms on the sides to release tension.
- Looking straight during your run. While running, looking straight forward instead of looking downwards can also increase your running efficiency by avoiding fatigue on the neck and shoulder area.
- Proper positioning of the arms and hands
Aside from your posture, you arms and hands contribute a lot to efficiency. Your arms and hands propel you forward increasing your speed and power. Employ the following if you want a better performance:
- Cup your hands slightly. Imagine that you are holding an egg with your hands while running. Avoid making a tight fist because it adds tension and affects the propelling action of the hands. Making your hands floppy also makes your running ineffective.
- Move your elbows between your chest and waistline while you run. Bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle while running and make sure that they glide between your chest and waistline. Moving your elbows higher can make you give more effort in your hands instead on your overall running performance.
- Proper leg motion and foot stride
Incorrect leg motion and foot stride may lead to injuries in the form of runner’s knee and the like. When running, take note of the following tips:
- Avoid over striding. Hitting the floor with your foot far beyond your body is considered over striding and may cause slowing down.
- Avoid bouncing. When running, avoid a choppy or bouncy motion on your feet as this increases the tension in your legs.
- Strike the floor on your mid foot. A mid foot strike is the best running form that you can employ with your feet. Striking the floor or ground with your heels or balls of the feet and toes can lead to injuries such as plantar fascia and tendonitis. A mid foot strike provides adequate shock absorption and helps you glide faster.
Proper running form is indeed important if you want to increase your running efficiency. Take note of your posture, arms, hands, legs and feet when you run to ensure maximum performance.