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What Is a Good Running Technique?

Technique differs amongst runners because it's largely dependent upon your body shape and size. While techniques differ, it's important that every runner find out which technique allows them to run comfortably with little to no added stress to the muscles. A good running technique not only helps you run comfortably, but it can help prevent injuries. In order to find the running form that works best for you, experiment with the ideas below to find the perfect technique for your body shape and size.

Head and Shoulder Form

Balancing your head and shoulders is important for proper running form. Your head position ultimately determines the shape of your spine and position of your stomach while running. You need to make sure to look straight ahead and not down at your feet. Focus on the horizon if you tend to move your gaze around or put your head too high. Keeping your neck and spine in alignment is important to prevent injuries.

runner male Your shoulders should feel relaxed and not pushed up and tense. If you notice yourself tensing your shoulders, shake them out a bit and allow them to hang comfortably down, making sure not to dip or shake them when striding. Your stomach will follow the position of your head and shoulders, allowing you run tall and keep a long stride.

Stride and Leg Positioning

Long distance runners need a good running technique in order to run long distances for a long period of time. The position of the knee and foot determine how well a certain running technique will work. If your technique involves raising your knee too high, you will lose endurance faster than if you keep your knee low. Your stride should be short to facilitate a longer run. If you currently notice that your lower leg extends out past the knee when your foot lands, your stride is too long and decreases the effectiveness of your run.

Putting All of the Positions to Work

Once you know how to correctly position your body to get the most from running, it's time to put it all together. While running, your arms should be bent slightly at the elbow and pump up and down, not across the body. Your feet, the powerhouses of good running, should hit the ground lightly between the heel and midsection. Once your foot hits the ground, roll forward to the toe, making sure to push yourself off using the support of your ankle. Use your arms, hips, legs, and feet to propel yourself forward.

The main purpose of finding a good technique is that you want your run to be as effective as possible. If your feet are pounding the ground hard or your body isn't running straight and tall, you decrease lung capacity, have an ineffective stride, and can end up with injuries. Remember that the best technique keeps your body in alignment, allows you to push off the ground like a spring, and maximizes the full benefits of running.

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