Running Posture – Prevention, Importance & More
What Does Bad Running Posture Look Like
Bad running posture is something that is often overlooked by runners. Many runners will run with poor posture, not realizing the harm it can cause to their body and their running performance. Poor posture can lead to a host of running injuries, such as runner’s knee, shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis. In addition, bad running posture can decrease efficiency, resulting in slower times. Fortunately, bad running posture can be corrected with some mindful practices and a few modifications to your running form.
Common signs of bad running posture include slouching or rounding of the shoulders, leaning too far forward, and having your head tilted forward instead of being in a neutral position. In addition, hunching over, shortening of your stride, and an overly high cadence can contribute to a poor posture. Poor running form can also be seen in the way runners land on their feet. If a runner lands too much on the heels of their feet instead of the mid-foot, it could be exacerbating their poor running posture and leading to injuries.
To correct poor running posture, runners should focus on maintaining an upright posture with their shoulders pulled back and down, their core engaged, and chin level or slightly tucked. Landing on the mid-foot instead of the heels will help keep the body in a vertical position and improve a runner’s overall form. Additionally, practicing some stretches and exercises before or after running can help improve posture. Simple activities like foam rolling, planks, and hip flexor stretches can help runners create the awareness they need to keep their body aligned while running.
Good running posture should look comfortable and relaxed yet strong. With mindful practices and awareness of your running form, runners can benefit from improved performance, decreased risk of injuries, and a more enjoyable and efficient running experience.
Why Is Good Running Posture Important
Good running posture is one of the most important yet underrated aspects of running. While runners often focus on the technical aspects of running such as speed, distance and technique, the posture of the runner is often overlooked or disregarded altogether. Proper running posture is key to improving performance, not to mention avoiding injury.
When it comes down to it, posture is all about correct body alignment and movement. Every step of the running cycle has an optimal alignment. Upper body posture, lower body posture and technique need to be optimized in order to avoid any type of injury or discomfort.
For example, an incorrect upper body posture can affect the hips and inflict an increased strain on the back. If the upper body is bouncy, then the lower body will naturally adjust to compensate, leading to an inefficient running form and discomfort down the line.
A good way to understand correct upper body posture while running is to imagine your head, shoulders and hips being on the same level. This will ensure your running form is as efficient as possible. Your head should be looking directly forwards at all times, with your shoulders pulled back and your arms and hands relaxed.
Lower body posture is just as important. A good lower body running posture should focus on maintaining a straight line from the head to the heel. This can be done by using the core muscles to support the position of the torso as well as by making sure each foot is landing under your body rather than in front of it.
Overall, correct posture while running is essential to being able to perform at your best. A good posture ensures a proper alignment of the body so you can be as efficient as possible. Plus, it makes the running experience a much more comfortable one. Make sure to focus on developing your running form and posture regularly and you’ll be on your way to becoming a better and faster runner in no time.
How To Prevent Bad Running Posture
Running is an amazing physical activity that can help to improve physical and mental health, however, bad posture can put strain on the body and lead to discomfort and even injuries. Here are some tips to help you maintain proper running posture.
1. Keep Your Head Up – As you run, make sure your head is looking forward, not down, as this will keep your shoulders in the right position and reduce strain on the neck and back.
2. Pull Your Shoulders Back – This will help to open your chest and keep your arms from getting too far in front of your body. Keep your arms close to the body and keep your elbows in at the sides.
3. Engage Your Core – This will help to support your back and ensure that your body is in the correct position. To engage your core, imagine that your belly button is being sucked in towards your spine.
4. Lean Slightly Forward – If you lean too far forward, you can disrupt your balance, but a slight forward lean (about 10-15 degrees) can help you maintain a good running form. This lean should come from the ankles, not the waist.
5. Shorten Your Stride – A short, quick stride can help keep your body in the correct position and reduce the impact on the body.
By following these five tips, you can help maintain good running posture and reduce the risk of injuries. Keep these tips in mind when you’re running and you’ll be on your way to improved running performance and increased endurance.
Best Exercises To Prevent Bad Running Posture
Single Leg Deadlift
The single leg deadlift is a great exercise to increase strength and stability in your hips, glutes, and hamstrings. It also helps to improve balance, which is important for maintaining proper posture while running. To perform the exercise, stand with your legs hip-width apart and then shift your weight onto one foot. As you bend your knee and hip slightly, reach the opposite foot out behind you as you hinge forward at the hips. Keep your spine neutral and lower your torso until it’s parallel to the ground. Hold for two seconds before returning to your starting position and then repeat on your other side.
The hip hinge is an exercise designed to help runners develop a good hip hinge technique. This exercise will help increase flexibility, range of motion, and muscle strength. To perform the exercise, stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides. With a slight bend in your knee, slowly hinge forward at your hips until your torso is almost parallel to the ground. Make sure to keep your spine neutral and avoid arching or rounding your back. Hold for two seconds before returning to your starting position.
Strong core muscles are essential for proper posture and technique. Core exercises can help increase strength and stability in your abdominal muscles and help you maintain your form while running. Some good core exercises to help improve running posture include planks, reverse crunches, and bird-dogs.
Wall slides are an incredibly effective exercise to help runners with their posture. This exercise will help to increase shoulder mobility and strengthen your core, which will help you stay in proper form while running. To perform the exercise, stand with your back against a wall and your feet shoulder-width apart. Slide your arms up the wall as you press your shoulder blades into the surface. Hold at the top and then slowly slide your arms back down until they reach your sides.
Band Pull Aparts
This exercise is designed to improve shoulder stability and strength, which can help improve running posture. To perform the exercise, grab a resistance band and hold it out in front of you at shoulder height. Keeping your arms straight, pull the band apart until your hands are shoulder width apart. Make sure to keep your shoulders drawn down and back and your core engaged. Hold for two seconds before returning to your starting position and repeating.
These are the best exercises to help you maintain proper running posture and reduce your risk of injury. Incorporate them into your routine twice a week for best results. With regular practice, you’ll notice an improvement in your running form and performance.