In case you are doubtful about whether or not running is a great exercise for burning fat and strengthening your heart -among others-; take a glance at the great gifts running can give you. If you already love running and would like to list it as one of your favorite exercises; you should know that without correct running posture; running can lead you to injury, strains and inefficient results.
Elements of good running posture
According to the New York Road Runner website, there are 3 key elements for a good running posture:
One: running “tall”, meaning to run as if you were hanging by a thread from the top of your head, your torso straight, the head is up, the chin is parallel to the floor and the shoulders back only with a slight lean forward.
Two: Torso is stable and body facing forward, meaning to avoid any unnecessary movement that wastes energy while running, such as bobbing or shaking the head, twisting or swinging the body or running with toe pointing in or out.
Three: Keeping the body relaxed; avoid any additional tension in the face, shoulders, neck, jaw and hands (shake your hands a little when feeling too tensed).
Perfect running form
Now test how you do it; film yourself running, or ask a friend who’s acknowledged about proper running posture to evaluate how well you do in each of the following points:
1- Head tilt: Look naturally to the horizon, not down at your feet, and not too up, the chin is parallel to the floor.
2- Shoulders: Keep them low and relaxed, not tight up toward your ears, if you felt yourself getting tensed by the shoulders, shake them out a bit to let go the tension.
3- Arms: They should swing forward and backward, not across your torso, bent about 90 degrees, hanging between the waist and lower chest level. Your hands in an unclenched fist.
4- Torso: It should be up straight and facing forward, not slouched and not too arched back, this increases lungs capacity for air; hence increase endurance while running.
5- Hips: Avoid swinging or twisting the hip while running, if you keep a good alignment of your torso, back and shoulders, along with a proper movement of your arms, your hips position should be fine.
6- Legs/stride: For distance running, take a slight knee lift and short stride, when striking the ground; knee should be slightly flexed to absorb the pressure then bent it. And don’t let your shine precedes your body much.
7- Ankle/stride: When foot strikes the ground; feet should land underneath your body, between the heel and mid-foot, then roll forward while keeping the ankle flexed, and then push the ground with maximum force.
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