What is the Proper Running Technique?
Everyone knows the benefits of running exercises but do not know the importance of correct posture while running and jogging. It is essential that sports coaches take running technique drills and conduct special running 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 running techniques for speed, so that they will be able to avoid injury and run faster at the same time. It is especially important to learn the proper running techniques for long distance running as a proper running form will ensure that they lose minimum energy while running the distance. In this article I am going to discuss the proper running form and the proper position for each part of the body.
Let's start with the head. While running, most people tend to look downwards at their shoes or at the road. This should be avoided. One of the best running techniques and tips given by coaches is to look straight while running. Keep your head focused on the horizon. Running with the head downwards will cause a strain in your neck and results in 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 running techniques for sprinters. Properly positioning the shoulders will help you increase your speed of running. While running, most people tend to keep their shoulders shrugged up rigidly. This running technique is wrong. The proper running technique is to let the shoulders just loose enough to keep themselves at a low level.
Arms and Palms
While running it isn't necessary that you clench your fists, unless you are running to hit somebody! Keep your fists loose so that you do not apply unnecessary pressure on your palms or knuckles. Move your arms forwards and backward between the chest and the lower waist. 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 and obstruct 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. Maintaining an upright torso while running 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 place i.e. parallel to the ground. Maintaining the proper running form for the hips is a very important part of enabling the proper running technique for sprinters as the hips are the center of gravity, and an improper hip position can really slow a sprinter down.
Legs and Feet
It is essential that when sprinters run, they maintain a high knee-lift, as that will enable 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, its 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. These were some of the proper running techniques. By using these techniques you can avoid a chance of causing long-term harm to your joints, neck and back.
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