Learn to Run with Proper Form

Perhaps you are new to running or a seasoned runner fighting injury. Learning the proper form and posture of running is imperative to having longevity and happiness in the sport. The purpose of this article is to teach runners a proven, effective, and safe way to run to avoid injury and improve performance with effortless technique (one in alignment with the body’s natural physiology).

Image Source: npr.org

The Basics of Proper Running Form:

• The proper body position is upright with a slight forward (but balanced) lean from the ankles.

• The core should be engaged with good posture and a straight back.

• The chest should push forward slightly as the arms pump backward and the hips and knees extend.

• Hands should stay near the chest with a short, compact, arm swing. Pump the arms back and let them recover or relax forward.

• To help the legs drive straight and the foot to land aligned underneath a bent knee, the arms should go forward and back with as little side to side motion as possible.

• The elbows should not come forward past the torso unless running at very high speeds.

• The upper body should carry over the foot leaving the feet to lift off quickly and extend behind the center of gravity.

• The feet should strike the ground under a bent knee as the leg begins to swing back under the body. Although the foot will contact the ground slightly in front of the body, it should feel as though it is directly underneath. Generally speaking, the full foot should contact the ground at the same time (a mid-foot strike). However, depending on genetics, the type of footwear being worn, and the running surface, the feet may contact with a slight forefoot landing or very slight heel landing.

• The foot strike should be light and quick and have about a 180-step-per-minute cadence.


Tip: Running barefoot for short distances can aid in helping you to feel, understand, and master proper running form.


For more on marathon running and related tips, please visit Steven Rindner‘s homepage.


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