Watch Your Form When It Comes to Running

A gorgeous Florida summer day in Lakes Park to enjoy a walk, run or bike ride!  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

Bruce Springsteen was right in 1975 when he released his best selling song ‘Born to Run.’

The human body is designed to run.

An individual's running form impacts not only his or her run, but nearly all other fitness pursuits as well.
It is an inherent trait passed down from our ancestors.

It’s a method of transportation, a means for hunting and gathering and a natural weight management system.

Some people just do it better than others. An individual's running form impacts not only his or her run, but nearly all other fitness pursuits as well.

When we talk about running form, we’re referring to our posture, or more simply, the way we hold ourselves placing one foot in front of the other.

This sounds simple enough, but poor alignment or inconsistencies in form can lead to injury and inefficiency of movement.

While there is no one magic formula for developing a running style or speed, there are specific measures we can take to improve.

This begins with a run/gait assessment.

When assessing individual movement, we need to look at how athletes move as a whole rather than focusing on individual discrepancies.

If their movement is balanced, efficient and producing positive results while maintaining injury free movement, they likely have a style that works for them.

Key areas of focus are proper foot plant, hip movement, shoulder alignment and arm swing.

An athlete’s ability to maintain good form is directly correlated to his or her individual strength and conditioning.

For example, a common mistake many runners make is over rotating their bodies to compensate for a weak core.

With a focus on creating a strong balanced body, athletes will not only move more efficiently when they run, but will also improve their performance in all fitness activities.

As athletes become increasingly aware of how they hold their bodies while running, they will have an increased awareness of how they hold themselves while stationary.

The goal is to improve overall strength and conditioning so they can move in a functional manner.

Finally, adding regular running drills or drill training can greatly improve the way you move while running.

Drills should be specific to an athlete's needs, purposefully designed to improve a specific skill and practiced regularly to promote change.

Making sure your training environment is clear of hazardous materials like rocks, trees or equipment.

Angie Ferguson is an exercise physiologist and Tony Robbins Results Coach from Fort Myers, Florida. She also is a Corrective Biomechanics Specialist, USA Triathlon Advanced Level 2 coach, USA Cycling coach, has a Specialty in Sports Nutrition certification, and a PhD in results!  

If you're looking for continual support, direction, guidance & accountability join Angie's Monthly Program here, and we'll help you look, feel and be your very best!


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