A lot of people think that running is easy as all you have to do is get out there and run. However, using good technique is very important when it comes to preventing injury and improving performance in this particular sport. What is good running technique? It involves these 10 components:
- Head up. Of course, you want to pay attention to the ground in front of you, but do so in a way that enables you to keep your head up, reducing the stress on your spine.
- Engaged core. Though your legs will be doing most of the work, keeping your abdominal muscles strong will help support your form as well.
- Shoulders back, chest forward. While it may feel awkward at first, running with your shoulders back and chest forward helps keep your spinal column in line.
- Shoulders above hips. Run as if you’re a puppet and there’s a string from your hips to your shoulders, again, to keep proper and healthy spinal alignment.
- Short strides. By keeping your strides short and quick, it’s easier to maintain proper form. Plus, it can also make you faster.
- Pushing off with your feet. Pay attention to your feet when you run, using them to push your body off the ground.
- Step gently. Even though you’ll be pushing off with your feet, your steps should still be light and gentle, minimizing the impact on your feet.
- Keep your knees above your feet. Be sure to keep your knees above your feet so as not to overextend this particular joint.
- Elbows bent, but moving. Ideally, you want to bend your elbows to 90 degrees or less, keeping them swinging in rhythm with your run to help propel you forward at a faster rate.
- Relaxed hands. Resist the urge to make fists when you run, opting for relaxed hands instead. And if you carry something—like a water bottle or phone—switch hands often to give them a break.
Any you’d like to add? Feel free to comment below!