What is the Correct Body Posture for Running: Running is a sport that, in principle, anyone can practice. However, normally no one teaches you what the correct posture is since you do it naturally. You start running and adapt to your posture, regardless of whether it is correct or not.
In this article, you will learn the guidelines you should follow to adopt the best posture when you go for a run. Please 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.
- 1 Guidelines for Running with Correct Posture
- 2 3 Tips to Improve Your Running Posture
- 3 Remember: Good Posture Reflects Good Attitude
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 injury risk.
You have to start composing your correct posture from top to bottom, starting with your head’s position and that of your gaze, to the way your feet land on the ground with each stride. You have to fix your attention essentially on 4 areas of your body.
1. Head and Look
Your head must be straight to maintain proper alignment with your torso and pelvis. In this way, you will also get the air you breathe to flow properly.
Your gaze should 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.
2. Arms, Shoulders, and Hands
As we already mentioned in another article in which we focused on the arms movement when running, for a correct stroke, you must pay special attention to your shoulders, elbows, and hands. I recommend that you take a look if you especially need to improve this point.
Your arms must go in parallel and you must not cross them, since you will only achieve an additional 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, and on the other hand, when you bring it forward, try to make it stay 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 allow your hands to 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.
3. 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 compensate for the arms and legs’ movement in the 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, will help you maintain stability and balance while running. The hips, which are the core base, tend to shift from side to side when running, but this movement should not be too sudden. It is best to keep the pelvis in a vertical position and to avoid excessive rotation of the trunk with each stride.
4. 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 that it can bend naturally on impact.
To run correctly, 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 (never with the heel or toe). And your toes should point forward and never to the side.
Remember that a good landing does not make a lot of noise when the impact is made, but one that is soft and flexible.
3 Tips to Improve Your Running Posture
As you can see, not everything is just going for a run, since it is necessary to have a specific technique properly. By following some tips and doing some exercises regularly, you can achieve the best running posture. It’s never too late to get it right, so pay attention to the following guidelines.
1. Don’t Forget to Stretch Before and After
Remember to stretch before and after training. In this article, we tell you how to do it. Even if you have a good posture when running, it is essential that you have good flexibility so that your muscles do not become overloaded, thus removing the risk of injury. Lack of elongation can cause muscle shortening and, in the long run, can lead to pain and contractures, impairing your performance as a runner.
2. 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 necessary. It will help you strengthen your legs and the muscles that are part of the core and upper body. If you work the strength in the glutes, 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.
3. Perform Specific Exercises to Correct Your Posture
Finally, if you still cannot run with a correct posture, you can exercise to educate your posture and correct it little by little.
The most advisable thing is that you first perform a self-analysis exercise and try to see your bad habits when running. You can ask a friend to go for a run with you and check your posture or ask them to record you running. In this way, you will detect where the most frequent mistakes you can 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 an excellent alternative to gain awareness about your body and educate your posture, not only in your workouts but also in your day-to-day life.
Of course, when you try to introduce these changes in your running, remember that you must do it little by little. For this, it will be necessary that you reduce both the distance you intend to run and the pace at which you will do it to focus on changing your postural habits. The reason is none other than to focus your attention on these aspects and let your body get used to this readjustment little by little so that later it comes out naturally.
Remember: Good Posture Reflects Good Attitude
Do the test! In your next workout, go for a run and check your posture. When you have been running for a while, and you notice your legs are more tired, stand up straight, puff out your chest, lift your head and take a deep breath. Correct your posture when your body needs it most.
A good posture and a good smile will be your best allies to improve your efficiency and motivation. Don’t forget; your posture is also a reflection of your attitude, so adopt the best posture: that of a good runner.