What is the Correct Body Posture for Running?
Running is a sport that, in principle, anyone can practice. However, normally nobody teaches us what the correct posture is, we do it naturally. We start running and adapt to our own posture, regardless of whether it is correct or not.
In this article we are going to know the guidelines that we must follow to adopt the best posture when we go for a run. Take note of these posture tips for each part of your body so that you can apply them in your workouts and improve your performance. If you are not doing quite well, you are always in time to correct your posture.
Guidelines for Running with Correct Posture
Improving your running posture can help you run faster and more efficiently. You will feel more comfortable and reduce the stress on your body, so you will also significantly reduce the risk of injury.
We are going to start composing our correct posture from top to bottom, starting with the position of the head and the gaze, to the position of the feet during the landing of your stride. Let’s get started.
Head and Look
The runner’s head should be straight to maintain proper alignment with the trunk and pelvis. Keeping your head straight will also get the air you breathe to flow properly.
Your gaze should also always be directed towards the front, never towards your feet, but about 10-20 cm from your position. In this way, you will be able to see the path and its irregularities well and you will force yourself to have a firm neck and a raised chin. If you lower your chin and look, you will be closing the windpipe slightly and that will prevent you from breathing properly.
Arms, Shoulders and Hands
For a correct arm stroke we must pay special attention to our shoulders, elbows and hands.
Your arms must go in parallel and you must not cross them, since you will only achieve an additional totally unnecessary energy expenditure. Your elbows should be bent about 90 degrees. On the one hand, when you bring one arm back, try to raise it to almost shoulder height. On the other hand, when you carry it forward, try to keep it at the level of your body line.
The shoulders are the ones that initiate the pendular movement of the stroke, but they must be relaxed. You should not apply pressure, tension or shrink them up at any time.
Finally, keep your wrists straight and let your hands relax without falling into languor or stiff fingers. Clenching your fists, especially in moments of greater intensity, is a common mistake that you should avoid.
Back, Abdomen and Hips
Your back should be completely straight and you should keep some pressure on your abs, without letting your lower back curve.
With a suitable back posture you will be able to compensate the movement of the arms and legs in a correct way. At most you can lean forward slightly, but not too much, because that is when fatigue will appear.
The abdominal and lumbar areas, which are part of the core , help us maintain stability and balance while running. The hips, which are the base of the core , tend to move from side to side when we run, but this movement should not be too sudden. It is best to keep the pelvis in a vertical position and avoid excessive rotation of the trunk with each stride.
Legs, Knees and Feet
While sprinters need to raise their knees high enough to get more momentum and power, long-distance runners should avoid raising them too high.
An efficient endurance run requires a slight rise in the knee, a quick rotation of the leg, and a rather short stride. If you raise your knees more than 30 degrees, remember that you run the risk of Iliotibial Girdle Syndrome.
To achieve a correct stride, the feet must land directly under the body and not in front of it. When your foot hits the ground, your knee should be slightly bent so it can bend naturally on impact.
To run properly, your ankles and feet must propel you forward with power. You should feel like your calf muscles propel you. With each step, the foot should land on the ground lightly and with the entire sole of the foot (never with the heel or toe) AND your toes should point forward and never to the side.
Remember that a good landing is one that does not make a lot of noise when the impact is made, but one that is soft and flexible.
Tips to Improve Your Running Posture
As you can see, not everything is just going for a run. It requires a certain technique to do it properly. By following some tips and doing some exercises regularly, you can achieve the best running posture. It is never too late to get it right, so pay attention to the following guidelines.
Don’t Forget to Stretch Before and After
Remember to stretch before and after training. Even if you have good posture when running, it is essential that you have good flexibility, so that your muscles do not become overloaded. The lack of elongation can cause muscle shortening and lead to pain and contractures, impairing your performance as a runner.
Strengthen Your Weakest Muscles
Another aspect that can influence incorrect posture is the lack of strength in some of your muscle groups. This is why strength training is so important . Not only will it help you strengthen your legs, but also the muscles that are part of the core and upper body. If you work the strength in the buttocks, the abdominal area and the lumbar area, you will have the necessary strength to support the bones and the weight of your body and you will be able to maintain a more upright posture.
Perform Specific Exercises to Correct Your Posture
Finally, if you still can’t run with a correct posture, you can try doing exercises to educate your posture and correct it little by little.
The most advisable thing is that you first carry out a self-analysis exercise and try to see what your bad habits are when running. You can ask a friend to go for a run with you and check your posture or record yourself running. This way you can detect where the frequent mistakes you make are.
To improve your running posture, you can perform some exercises that can be very useful (in addition to stretching). Another advantage is that they will not take you long and it will be enough for you to repeat them about two or three times a week.
You can do planks to strengthen the lower back or abdominal area or walk on your heels or the balls of your feet. Signing up for Pilates or Yoga can also be a very good alternative to gain awareness about your body and educate your posture, both in your day to day and in your workouts.
Of course, try to introduce these changes little by little, that is, reduce your distance and your pace while you focus on changing your postural habits to let your body get used to this readjustment little by little.