Proper Running Technique
The message goes to all sports: you need to attain the proper body form, if you want to be better at the sport without suffering from sprained body parts. Same goes for running, perhaps more so than other things.
Have you ever experienced a shooting pain in your lower back, while running long distance or sprinting, or knee pain after running? It may be because, you have been doing it wrong for a long time. Trouble is, you might not even know, that you have been following an incorrect technique while running, till it starts taking a toll on your body.
The Correct Technique for Runners
Everyone knows the benefits of running exercises, however, some of us do not know the importance of correct posture while running and jogging. It is essential that sports coaches take running drills and conduct special, technique classes for kids. This way, the kids will learn to run properly, and the chances of injury will be reduced considerably. It is also essential that they learn the techniques for speed, so that they will be able to avoid injury, and run faster at the same time. It is extremely important to maintain the correct posture for long distance running, as a proper running form will ensure that a runner loses minimum energy, and covers maximum distance. In this article, we will study the proper position of each part of the body while running.
While running, most people tend to look downwards at their shoes, or at the road. This should be avoided. One of the best tips given by coaches, is to look straight while running. Keep your head focused on the horizon. Running with the head facing down, will cause a strain in your neck and result the contraction of the back. Hence, by keeping your head straight, you minimize the chances of both these injuries.
Shoulder positioning is one of the most important things for sprinters. Properly positioning the shoulders will help you increase your speed. While running, most people tend to keep their shoulders shrugged up rigidly, which is wrong. The proper way is to keep the shoulders in a relaxed position, at a low level.
Arms and Palms
While running it isn't necessary that you clench your fists. In fact, keeping them relaxed will prevent the unnecessary pressure falling on your palms or knuckles. Bend your arms at the elbows and move them in forward and backward direction. Ensure that, at no point, you make your arms more rigid than they need to be. Let your arms move freely, and ensure that they do not move sideways while obstructing your run.
Torso and Hips
It is essential that you maintain an upright torso while running. And, if you keep your head straight and torso low, your torso will automatically straighten. This position is very important, as it allows the lungs to breathe in the maximum oxygen, and run more. With a straight back and torso, the hips too, will fall into the correct alignment i.e., parallel to the ground. Maintaining the proper form for the hips is very important for sprinters, as the hips are the center of gravity, and an improper hip position can really slow down the speed of a sprinter.
Legs and Feet
It is essential that when sprinters run, they maintain a high knee-lift, as it enables them to take a longer stride, and apply more pressure while landing on the feet, and push the ground for the next motion. For sprinters, this is a good running technique. Breathing should also be monitored and rhythmic. For endurance runners, it's recommended that they do not lift their knees too high, and take shorter strides, as taking longer strides consumes more energy. Long distance runners need to spread out that energy over the long run, hence, it's better that they take shorter strides. When you land your foot on the ground, make sure that your ankles are flexed, so that you can create more 'jump' in the push-off.
By using these techniques you can avoid a chance of causing long-term harm to your joints, neck, and the back. These can also be used as running measures to lose excess weight. After all, running is one of the best cardiovascular exercises, and one which will help you burn fat quickly.
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