Many times I see people running on the treadmill or outside and wonder if they know that they have improper form, which will most definitely cause injury or strain to their knees and hips.
As a former all-conference, state-qualifying track athlete (yeah, it was a thousand years ago, but it doesn’t make it any less true) I know a thing or two about proper running technique. The key to proper form is all in the arms. Your arms are what guide your legs.
To prove this fact, try to run without moving your arms. It can be done, but it takes a great deal of effort. Your legs look and feel a little lost. Now run pumping your arms up and down at the sides of your body. Your arms become a guide and your legs reflect the effort and movement of the arms. Increase the effort of the arm pump and the legs will follow suit. This technique is especially useful when wanting to kick it into turbo boost down that last straightaway, rounding a curve around the track or keeping up on the treadmill when the mph is set at 7.0 and above.
Now try to run while pumping your arms across your mid-section. This movement makes you twist at your hips, your knees turn inward, your stride becomes choppy and your effort increase, which makes for a more strenuous, injury-causing run. This is not the most efficient way to run, as your are exerting more effort and making the run more difficult.
Remember, having the proper running technique helps to prevent injury, improves your efficiency, opens your stride, and simply makes you a better runner.
Take a look at this video to get an idea of what I mean. Be sure to begin and end each exercise routine with stretches (click here for some examples)
My girl, Shelli, recently posted some tips on finding the right running shoes here, which is especially helpful to your knees, shins, and back.
Do you have any running tips to share?
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