14 Tips To Improve Your Running Form

Changing your running technique will aid you in running more quickly and effectively, causing less stress on your body at the same time. You also have fewer chances of getting injured.

Jogging with correct mechanics minimizes tiredness and makes sure that you make the most of your workout. To be successful when running a 5k, marathon, or just an enjoyable run, having the right technique is vital and should be the primary focus.

Keeping the above in mind, the following article will present you with 10 techniques to assist you in attaining and sustaining the best running posture and form.

1. Posture is King

Enhancing your running stance is a great way to be as effective as possible when running. Your posture while sitting at a desk, riding in a car, or reclining on a couch can have an immense influence on your running performance.

We take up too much of our day in a sitting posture, with our upper back slumped and our legs in a bent position. Our continuous retention of unnatural positions leads to the strengthening of our hip flexors and other anterior muscles, as well as the weakening of our glutes and other posterior muscles.

When we are running, it can be difficult to keep our body upright and have enough hip extension. We end up with our usual stances determining how we move, meaning particularly in the hips, our posture is usually bent slightly.

Focus on having good posture by keeping your chin up and back upright and even between your shoulder blades. Gaze ahead of you instead of looking straight down. Your jaw and neck should be relaxed. Keep a calm stance with your shoulders at the same level as the floor.

2. Avoid Overstriding

If you set your foot down on either your heel or forefoot, you will feel significantly more force and shock than if you placed it down along your mid-foot. This is a result of the connection to the other body parts, leading to a vigorous braking power that grows exhaustion and the likelihood of injury.

One way to stop taking steps that are too long is to check the placement of the knee and ankle at the point of the first touch. Upon first contact, the knee should bend just above the ankle. If the runner is over-reaching, their ankle will be visible before their knee.

One of the best methods to avoid taking too long steps while running is to speed up your walking/running rhythm. Start by taking 5% more steps per minute and see if it helps keep you from overreaching. When you spend less time making contact, you will experience a sense of being more nimble.

Using a basic digital metronome can be really beneficial for keeping up and maintaining a consistent running rhythm – by running in time with the beat, you’ll notice a major difference in your performance.

A suggestion: Build up your steps so that you reach a minimum of 180 per minute for the best results. Nowadays, the majority of smartwatches can be used to monitor metrics like ground contact time, as well as other helpful data.

3. Abdominal Breathing

Breathing from your diaphragm or your ‘stomach’ is the best way to go about running. Lie on your back with a book on your stomach and use this kind of breathing. Take a deep breath in as you observe the book ascend, then breathe out slowly as the book descends.

Using abdominal breathing during a run helps you get the most oxygen possible. In simpler words, it triggers the diaphragm to provide extra space in the chest area, allowing the lungs to broaden and draw in more oxygen.

In addition, you should inhale via nasal and oral channels, particularly during more rigorous workouts and faster runs to supply more oxygen to your body.

4. Relax your Shoulders

Having tightness in your shoulders, spine, or upper back region can impede your ability to move your arms when running. As you jog, your arms help steadiness, cadence, and power.

As your speed increases, the need for more arm movement is necessarily equivalent to the action of your legs. Jogging at a low pace should require small arm movements initiated from the shoulder.

The manner of running remains the same, but the speed of running is altered; the pattern of movement, however, is the most important factor when running correctly. This could take a bit of adjusting, but even when you’re depleted, maintain steady arm movements, as it assists in maintaining a rhythmized running speed.

Unclench your shoulders and go with the natural flow to reap rewards.

5. Run As If You Were Carrying an Egg (Arms and Hands)

Jog with a gentle touch, keeping your hands open and loose around an imaginary egg.

Bring your elbows up to around a right angle, and move your hands below your waist. Your arms should move between your chest and waist area as you make a back-and-forth motion with your elbows.

Moving your arms with greater speed reduces the amount of energy you use and gives you a better, more effective style of running.

6. Eliminate the Bounce and Focus on Moving Forwards

Jogging entails moving in a straight path ahead. Even though the rotating movement is necessary for many elements at particular points and sections of the body, the body does not overly rotate from side to side.

Excessive rotation works against the intention of progressing forward.

Trying to remain in control and on an even keel while running uses up extra energy, making it a massive drain on resources. The focus should be directed on progressing rather than ascending.

A slow tempo and long stride may lead to excessive leaping while running.

Taking this viewpoint, if someone were to run a mile, a lot of energy would be expended unproductively in an upward direction. If a marathon were to be completed, the energy wasted would be pretty significant.

7. Push-Off

The initial force that propels you forward is generated through the pushing-off action.

The ankle joint extends because a powerful flexing of the calf muscle generates a force. When dorsiflexion happens, the toes bend up and get nearer to the shin bone, decreasing the space between the top of the foot and the upper leg.

Your shin’s anterior section enables your foot to lift up, which is called dorsiflexion.

Running, a kinetic chain, may give rise to several problems when it is not done correctly. It is necessary to remember that any movement at the ankle affects not only the ankle but also other parts of the body, including the knees, hips, back, and other articulations.

8. Core Strength Matters

No matter how hard you work to run with good posture, your core strength and capacity to activate your posterior muscles will be a major obstacle to your progress and ability to stay uninjured.

Your glutes and abdominal area are two major muscle groups that are essential for keeping up elasticity and power in the lower back, midsection, and hips.

Imbalances and deficiencies within the body’s muscles can contribute to knee, hip, and back traumas, in addition to issues with the lower leg, hamstring, and Achilles tendon while running.

Incorporating strengthening and stability exercises into your weekly regimen is essential to reinforcing these key elements. In the end, you will reap the rewards of running – with reduced odds of getting hurt and better performance.

9. Look Ahead

Don’t stare at your feet. Keep your gaze directed towards the ground that is 10 to 20 feet in front of you. Running in this manner not only follows the guidelines of proper form but also is a safer way of running, since you will be able to see what lies ahead and be able to prevent stumbling or tripping.

Is your head jutting forward as you run? This can be quite taxing on the neck and shoulder muscles, consequently resulting in tension. Be sure that while running your head is not leaning forward; keep it so that your ears are situated directly above your shoulders.

Visualize yourself as a marionette on a line as you sprint, with your entire frame kept taut and upright.


10. Keep Hands at Your Waist

Keep your hands around the hip level, near the point where they almost touch your waist. Your arms should be bent at a 90-degree angle. Initiates often keep their hands close to their chests, especially as they get fatigued.

You could become even more fatigued if you keep your arms in that position, and you could begin to feel tightness and strain in your neck and shoulders. If you are running quickly, your arms will usually move your hands backwards and up.


11. Relax Your Hands

When you are jogging, make an effort to keep your arms and hands loose. Avoid tightening your hands into fists. If you are gripping your hands tightly, the stress will travel up your arms to your neck and shoulders.

Try to imagine you have an egg in each hand that must not be crushed. Keeping your fists loose is the best way to do this.


12. Check Your Posture

Keep your posture straight and erect. Keep your chin held high, sit up straight, and balance your shoulder blades. Hold your shoulders up to your ears and stay in a balanced pelvic position. Avoid slouching at your waist by bending forward or backwards when you become tired while running.

Check your posture once in a while. When you find yourself exhausted after completing your jog, it is not unusual to slump somewhat, which may cause soreness in your neck, shoulders, and lower back. When you feel yourself slouching, poke your chest out.

Preserving good posture after your run is crucial in preventing tiredness and finishing with vigour.

13. Rotate Your Arms From the Shoulder

Your arms should move in a swinging motion starting at the shoulder rather than the elbow. Imagine your arm as a pendulum that is oscillating at your shoulder. Push your elbow away from you and then let it move back towards you.

Your arm should almost touch your hip as it is brought forward.

Your arms should move freely along your sides. If you cross them over your chest, they can migrate towards your shoulders, which can cause your body to become hunched over. Hunching can make it hard to breathe. Hold your arms straight down at your sides, level with one another.

Visualize a vertical line going down the middle of your body and do not let your hands go past it.


14. Don’t Bounce

If you run with a lot of vertical movement, or “bouncing,” your head and body are going up and down too much and it results in a lot of energy being used up. The higher you jump, the more of a jolt you will feel when you hit the ground, and the quicker your muscles will tire out.

Run as lightly as possible to use less energy and avoid bouncing on your feet when making contact with the ground. Upon landing, make contact gently. Lower the height of your stride and concentrate on maintaining fast steps. Walk with quick, light steps, as though you are treading on burning embers.

Experts believe that the most effective runners have 90 strides per minute, with the left foot hitting the ground every other one. Shortening your stride will raise your cadence.

Do not make any adjustments to the rate of your stride or the way your feet hit the ground for very long. At the start, it may feel strange but try not to overexert yourself. As they become more comfortable, you’ll be able to sustain them for longer sections of your running exercise.

Optimize Your Form to Prevent Injury

If you are yet to resolve any difficulties related to an improper running form, you should consider conducting a gait evaluation. A physical therapist might evaluate your Z angle, which is the angle formed from your hip and ankle as you jog.

Finding Your Z Angle

Take a picture of yourself running from the side with your rear foot planted on the ground. The optimal approach to acquiring this type of photograph is to take a static snapshot or capture a frame from a video.

  1. Draw a line through the hip joint parallel to the top of your pelvis.
  2. Draw another line down your stance leg, from your hip to your ankle.
  3. Draw a final line from your ankle joint through your toes.

If you are running correctly, your track should make a Z-shape on the ground.

What to Do About Poor Form

If your evaluation shows any issues with your form, it is important to make modifications to your method to protect yourself from strain or harm.

If the flexion of your ankle is bigger than at your hip, it could be an indication of either fragile or stiff calf muscles. Doing certain workouts that target the particular area, like a towel calf stretch or working on the anterior tibialis muscles, might be beneficial.

If the bend in your hip is bigger than the bend in your ankle, it could indicate an issue with the range of motion in your hip. Activities like extending the hip flexors or making the hips stronger could help fix your running style.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button