Form 101

Watch children playing on any school playground and you will see running form at its best. Running comes naturally to a child; it is as we grow up and become sedentary that we begin to struggle with how we should run (and even walk). The first rule of running form is to stay relaxed throughout your workout.  This will help to minimize the energy you expend and lessen the chance for injury.  We want the body to be “light” and “low to the ground”, focusing on forward motion.

Starting at the top, try to keep your head tilted down slightly, looking at the ground 10 to 15 feet ahead of you. Your facial muscles, including your eyes, jaw and neck should be relaxed. Keep your shoulders relaxed and do not allow them to “slouch” forward. Imagine yourself as a prima ballerina with an upright posture opening up your breathing passage, allowing oxygen to get to your working muscles.
 
Next stop is your torso. Your arms should be bent at a 90-degree angle and relaxed.  As you run or walk, let your arms swing forward, like a pendulum, being mindful not to let them swing across your chest. On the downswing, brush your hands past your hip bones, bringing them back behind your body. The arm movement should move in conjunction with your legs. Keep your hands lightly cupped, as though you are holding a raw egg that you don’t want to break.  Clenching your hands is taking excessive energy away from your legs and creating undue stress to your upper body. Again, don’t let your hands cross over the middle of your chest.  Remember arms move forward for forward 

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