Don’t run like a girl, run like a girl with correct running mechanics! If you want to improve your running speed, running efficiency and reduce injury risks, you must first master the basic mechanics of running. Running mechanics have three main components: Posture, Arm Action and Leg Action. Listed below are some key checkpoints of proper running mechanics:
Checkpoints for proper running posture:
1. At maximum speed, the head should be held high. Also, the head should never sway from side to side and the jaws should be relaxed.
2. The head should be in line with the torso and the torso should be in line with the legs at all times.
3. There should be a slight body lean when starting and accelerating. At maximum speed, which usually takes about 4-5 seconds, the body is more straight up with tall hips.
4. The feet should be dorsiflexed (pointed up) at all times except when striking the ground. Feet should strike the ground on the balls of the feet.
Checkpoints for proper arm action:
1. Use the shoulders (and not the elbows) to pump the arms as fast as possible. The hands should be relaxed in unballed fists with the front hand rising up to about nose level and the back hand passing the buttocks.
2. Move each arm as one piece with the elbow bent at 90 degrees. Arm action should be straight forward, up and down and never flailing side to side.
Checkpoints for proper leg action:
1. The faster the running speed, the higher the heel on the rear foot should kick up. When the foot leaves the ground, it should follow a path straight up to the buttocks. It should not flail from side to side.
2. The knee raises up to where the thigh is almost parallel to the ground. The foot then drops down below the knee (knee angle is about 90 degrees).
3. At top speed, the drive (pushing) leg should be fully extended to the ground.
It’s a good idea to practice running mechanics before, during and after workouts. Now, run like a girl with correct running mechanics!
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