Many times we worry more about performing exercises to strengthen the muscles of the lower body. Still, sometimes we forget to work the muscles that will allow us to hold the posture and stay upright when running to take a better stride and run more and better.
To achieve an excellent running technique, it is essential to have a good position of the back, the abdominal area and the inner walls, and the core, which we have already talked about on other occasions. This will allow us a better position to make strides, but it will also guarantee proper ventilation and a better attitude when we are running. Therefore, in this article, I will tell you the importance of being aware of your own body to understand better the correct position you need to run and how you can work it.
- 1 Why Is It Essential to Have a Correct Running Posture?
- 2 6 Points to Watch Your Posture to Improve Your Running Technique
- 3 Don’t Let Fatigue Make You Lose the Correct Posture!
Why Is It Essential to Have a Correct Running Posture?
As in any other sport, an excellent postural attitude in the running is essential. If you apply too much stress to certain parts of the body or make incorrect movements, such as excessively internal rotation of the arms, you can end up losing efficiency and effectiveness, but you can also end up injuring yourself, which is worse.
On the other hand, if you maintain a correct position of your upper body while running, you will be able to run at a fast but comfortable pace at the same time because you will improve your efficiency and you will not waste so much force in performing movements that can become counterproductive. Even your breathing will appreciate it because if you have a straighter posture and maintain the ribs’ width, your diaphragm will have more capacity to expand and the volume of air will be higher.
If you need to modify your posture, you will need a little effort since it is not easy, but with training and patience, you can get it. You may notice some pain first in the parts of the body where you need to correct your posture, but it is normal since any adaptation requires an adaptation time. Your muscles, ligaments and tendons will probably suffer more at first, but little by little, they will get used to the new posture and the pain will subside.
6 Points to Watch Your Posture to Improve Your Running Technique
To carry the correct posture regarding the upper body and improve your performance, you have to pay particular attention to the following points:
1. Take Care of the Position of Your Head
It is the first thing you should look at since your head must always be looking forward and never at the feet so that the airways are not obstructed and visualize the path you are running. You should avoid protruding your forehead, so you should bring your chin forward and your neck straight, strong but without applying excessive tension.
2. Apply the Correct Tension to the Shoulders
It is also important that you do not put excessive stress on the shoulders, since a very common problem among runners is that their joints are too forced and raised. These should carry the right point of tension for the arms to swing.
If you do a few kilometers, you can forget certain aspects of your running technique, especially if it is unnatural due to the posture you maintain during the day. As a result of the work done by the abdominal muscles, the back muscles and also the hips, you may tend to try to stabilize yourself with your shoulders and put them under too much tension, even losing some efficiency in the movement of the arms.
To maintain correct shoulder tension, you recommend that you do small jerks while running or notice that something is changing. Less tension means wasting less strength and energy.
3. Watch the Curvature of Your Shoulders
It is common to see many runners on the streets with their chest hunched and their shoulders forward, perhaps as a consequence in most cases of the position adopted in front of the computer, especially when you spend many hours sitting in front of the. With this posture, the ribs and vertebrae’s width is affected, and your ability to inhale air is reduced, so the amount that enters does not fill your lungs. You begin to take inspiration and exhalation more frequently. This also affects the movement of your arms, making it less efficient.
To correct this aspect, you have to start stretching the pectorals, both upper and lower, to open them and get your shoulders back to a more backward position.
4. Take Care of the Arm Swing
We have already explained in another article how you should move your arms when running, and since the swing of the arms is what guides the movement of the upper trunk, a good trick to move them correctly is to keep the palms a little open to feel how they help you to move through the air. You can also imagine that you subtly arm yourself to advance, with your elbows at about 90 degrees, but without forcing them. Many runners put so much stress on their arms that they become sore after a training session or a test, so you have to transfer that tension to your legs, and for this, it is necessary to shake your arms in the warm-up or in the softest moments of your sessions to notice how the muscles relax and feel that they release excessive tension.
5. Keep Your Back Straight
To keep your back straight, you have to have a very toned abdominal wall, because it is the one that supports you inside and where the support of your body resides. Although the dorsal wall is the one that will protect your spine, and you must work on it, it is also very important that you always keep your abdominal area in tension.
The best way to achieve this is always to carry a hard belly throughout the day, whether while sitting in a chair while eating or while merely talking. The secret is to base both your position and your abdominal tension on your breathing, since this has to be the one that asks you to tighten the abdomen so that you can perform it more deeply, and thus, with the tight abdominal, your entire torso grows. You can fill your lungs to their full capacity. You can better understand the latter, sit in a chair, relax your belly, and let your back arch and breathing. Now, tighten your abdomen allowing your back to grow and your spine straight and breathe again. Surely you have noticed the difference, and that is the correct position you should adopt to have an exact position when running.
You can choose from many varied options to tone the inner wall and the entire abdomen and lumbar. Pilates classes are highly recommended for runners and include exercises to strengthen the core in your training sessions at least once a week. You can not forget about the classic abs, or even include some series of isometric abs, holding the force for a controlled period.
In some cases, and especially if you know the method, you can perform hypopressive exercises, since, with their practice, you cover all the above points. Still, if you do not see the technique, a specialist should teach you how to perform them correctly.
6. Watch the Lower Back
Lumbar lordosis consists of an excessive curvature in the lumbar part of the spine or the lower back area. When the lower back curves inward more than normal, it can be due to a congenital disability or an imbalance in the spinal and pelvic muscles. This problem can be exacerbated in runners when fatigue begins to appear.
The best thing to avoid the excessive appearance of lordosis is to treat this muscular imbalance. For this, it is good to strengthen the muscles in the lower back and pelvis (such as the abdominals, obliques, hamstrings and buttocks ), as well as stretching the hip flexors and lower back muscles.
Don’t Let Fatigue Make You Lose the Correct Posture!
The fact of maintaining the correct posture of the upper trunk while you are running will give you a signal of how you are physical, because as the fatigue appears, what usually happens is that you begin to relax the abdomen and arch your back, lower the shoulders and the head with which we begin to get a particular hump. It is at this time that your lungs significantly reduce their capacity because air circulation becomes much less direct. Also, the hips stop swinging agilely and you lose a lot of amplitude in the stride.
As a consequence of this, each time you run slower and get much more tired, entering a loop can lead to exhaustion or the need to finish your training as soon as possible.
On the other hand, if you manage to maintain the correct posture of your upper body, you will be better, not only physically, but also mentally, because a correct position has a lot of influence on your attitude. For that reason, I invite you to do the test in the next long training session. When fatigue begins to surface because you feel less force to continue, your legs are heavy, or you begin to lose concentration, get as straight as possible, take a deep breath, lift chest and head and don’t forget to smile. Thus, you will be fresh again and continue until you achieve your goal.