Proper running form involves studying everything from arm swing phase, flexibility, stance, and foot strikes. Maintaining a proper form during your runs reduces the risk of injury caused by overuse, and also allows runners to increase speed. If you are looking to make your jogs a little more effective and prevent injury, check out a few ways you can look at and correct your form.
The Foot Strike
Reaching out with the foot with an over-stride creates an aggressive foot strike that sends an inordinate level of shock throughout the leg. Although being a runner that strikes on the various areas on the heel does not always negatively affect the stride, it is important that the foot lands in an appropriate position in relation to the rest of the body. The foot should land in a straight line under the body instead of in front of it, directly underneath the hips is ideal. Placing the foot right under hip during the run prevents the stretching and reaching that increases injury risk and also provides a fluid stride.
Making a point to lean from the waist is unnecessary since the body leans slightly from the ankles naturally. Runners should focus on running with a straight posture to prevent muscle fatigue and neck strain. Be sure to make use of your abdominal muscles and keep an upright position as you run.
Take Note of Your Cadence
The number of steps per minute is your cadence rate. 180 steps per minute is the optimal rate of elite runners, but keeping it at no less than 170, at a more comfortable rate is great practice. Count the amount of times one foot lands per minute, than multiply it by two to determine your cadence and try to increase it by five percent every 2 or 3 weeks if the number reaches less than 170.
Perform Exercises to Improve Running
Optimize your glute power by lifting one leg to the side and moving it in a circle 10 times before each run and reduce that tension after a run by crossing an ankle above the opposite knee and move your hips backwards and downwards until the release in the glutes are noticeable. Perform this for 10 seconds on each side.
Lift your chest and left tailbone, round your back, and drop you pelvis to the right before a run to prepare your hips for the run and afterwards, lie down and lift both legs before lowering them to the ground at the pelvis level 10 times.
Help bring your arms in unison by lifting them to the side at shoulder height while keeping elbows bent upward and your palms facing your head. Move your elbows back while lifting the chest before a run to prepare the arms. Afterwards, lie on a back bend support such as a rolled blanket placed long-ways on the spine while stretching the arms into a T-shape. Breathe and relax for a few minutes to release tension on the arms.
It is important to note that if you have been running for many years without any aches or injury, altering your form is likely unnecessary, and may cause you to run less efficiently. If pain in the joints persist even after improving your form, inquire with a healthcare professional about joint pain products like Flexicose to relieve the pain.