Running form is an important tool in improving running efficiency. The correct running technique significantly increases sustainable speed as well as prevents running injuries. A correct running form is known to increase the efficiency by 8 percent. Running is a skill that would require mastering the techniques and forms in order to benefit from increasing efficiency and staying free from injury. The following are the correct running forms or techniques that will help runners gain increasing performance.

Proper head Tilt
The position of the head is a basic principle in running. Look ahead and never gaze down your feet as you run. When gazing straight ahead, your back and neck are in neutral position, which makes it easier to run.

Arm Position
Although running is mainly a role of the lower extremities, the arms also play a role in efficiency. Proper forms of the arm allow them to drive your body faster as it controls the tension on the upper body. The hands should not be clenched, but the fingers should slightly touch your palms. As your run, swing your arms forward and backward with the elbows bent at a 90 degree angle. Before running, release the tension on the arms by dropping and shaking them on the sides to prevent clenching of the hands.

The shoulders are also crucial in marinating a correct running form. The shoulders should be relaxed in order for the upper body to relax and increase the speed of running by preventing tension on the upper body. Keep the shoulders loose and avoid bringing it up the ears. Release the tension on the shoulders by shaking them.

The torso is also an important area of the body that contributes to running efficiency. When the torso is straight, it allows better lung expansion, which leads to increased lung capacity while you run. This considerably increases your stride strength because of proper oxygenation. Most amateur runners maintain a forward tilted torso, but a correct running form involves the back to be straight and “running tall”. The position of the torso is largely dependent on the position of the shoulders and the head so keep the head straight and the shoulders loose.

Pelvis or Hips
The hips are the center of gravity of the body. A correct running form involving the hips allows for stability and better propulsion. Maintain the hips in proper alignment by maintaining the head, shoulders and back on neutral position. Never tilt the body forward because this will also tilt the pelvis and make your body out of proper alignment contributing to tension and injury.

The legs are one of the most important areas of the body during running. A properly positioned legs and knees greatly contribute to a correct running form. In order to make sure that you are running correctly, your knees should bend slightly as your feet strike the ground because a straight knee absorbs more impact thereby leading to knee injuries. Your legs should also be in line with your body when the feet strike the floor. When your lower legs extend in front of the body, the tendency is, you are over striding.

Feet and Ankles
The feet should land appropriately on the ground for maximum force. The foot should hit the ground in between the mid foot and the heels followed by a quick roll forward on the toes; after which, spring of the ground. Avoid a foot slap on the floor because it reduces efficiency. When you are running, it should be quiet and springy.

These running forms contribute greatly to improved athletic performance as well as preventing injuries. Make sure that when you run, be cautious of your body position and practice the proper running form before any major event.

If you’ve been sidelined from your running by a nagging injury or discomfort and pain, schedule a consultation with the best rated Wesley Chapel chiropractor, Dr. Mohr, serving the Tampa Palms, New Tampa, and surrounding areas.