5 Tips for Proper Running Technique

iGnite instructor and running expert Alli Phillips shares her top 5 tips for proper running form and technique to improve running efficiency and speed, prevent common running injuries, and allow runners to enjoy this most elemental, fundamental, and wonderful exercise for a lifetime.  Running with better form will make you more efficient and faster; and vice versa, running faster makes you more efficient and improves form.

1. Upper body alignment

  • Stay in a stacked vertical plank: head in alignment with shoulders, ribs and hips.
  • Strong core: all runners should have a strong core to support that vertical plank, so be sure to include some good core strengthening exercises into your running routine
  • Relax the shoulders

2. Lower body position

  • Pelvis under ribs: keep hips neutrally aligned under the ribs. Think of your pelvis like a bucket, not tipping it one way or another, hold it steady under your vertical plank.
  • Strong glutes: be sure to incorporate glute-strengthening exercises like squats, lunges & step-ups in your running routine because strong hips & glutes will help maintain that neutral pelvis
  • Keep  soft, slightly bent knees through all points in your run, keeping your knee like a loaded spring. This reduces the impact on your joints.
  • Feet under the hips

3.  Foot placement or strike

  • You want to the foot to land right under the hip when you’re running
  • Forefoot takes the weight

4. Forward lean

  • When you run, you want a slightly forward lean with your full body
  • Lean & drive from your hips (or your center of mass)
  • Maintain neutral connected plank position as you lean forward

5.  Cadence

  • Fast Turnover: to go faster, simply increase the rate of your step — don’t widen your stride
  • Quick light steps

DRILL: Sub-Max Sprints
Complete this drill after a 10 minute warm-up. This drill will teach your body how to maintain proper running form at a higher cadence/speed.

  1. Run in place 5-10 seconds focusing on body position and high cadence/turnover
  2. Lean or “fall forward” and run fast for 20-60 seconds or until your cadence slows and/or form is lost

Repeat 3-10 times based on your level of fitness.

 

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