Not just many people but many doctors also believe that the body and limb movements of every person are fixed from the time of birth and they cannot be changed. The thinking that some people are born to be athletes has stemmed out of this very belief. But with proper guidance and practice, any person can change his/her running form making it more efficient.
Following are a few things to consider for a person willing to change his running form,
Head Tilt: Holding the head straight and aligned to the overall posture the body is the key that determines the efficiency of running. While running, the runner must allow his sight to guide him keeping the gaze straight ahead and not on the feet.
Shoulders: The shoulders movements play a vital role in keeping the upper body relaxed while running. For optimum performance while running, the shoulders must be kept low and loose.
Arms: Arms help in distributing the tension that is generated in the upper body while running. It is suggested that arms should be loose with the fists unclenched yet the fingers slightly touching the palms.
Torso: The position of the torso is very important and it affects the posture of the head along with the shoulders. When the head is up and shoulders are loose and low, the torso naturally straightens allowing for the runner to run smoothly in an upright position with optimum lung capacity and proper stride length.
Hips: The hips are the center of gravity while running and gives a good running posture. They would be automatically in position if the torso and back are kept straight while running.
Stride/Leg Movement: For sprinting, the ideal strides mean high knee movement and longer strides. For distance runners, the speed must be at a moderate level with low knee movements and medium sized strides.
Ankles/Feet: To run properly, the runner needs to push off the ground with maximum force. With each step, the foot should hit the ground mildly and the landing of bodyweight should be the heel and middle of the foot and then the weight should roll forward. As the bodyweight rolls onto the toes, runner should try to spring off the ground. The calf muscles should propel the body forward with each step. The feet should not slap the ground.
Correct Biomechanics: Sometimes a person may not be able to obtain the perfect running form due to faulty biomechanics of the spine and back. Chiropractic care can help correct the biomechanics. The problem is identified via X-ray or MRI and then corrected via spinal adjustments. Chiropractors also teach patients postures and forms of running which puts less stress on the body.
The above tips should enable any person to correct his/her form of running. However, it will need consistent practice before the form is corrected permanently. It is better to appoint a trainer who will keep an eye on the running and correct any deviation from the optimum form then and there. This way a person can run regularly without injuries or damaging the body in any way.