running-mechanicsThe topic of proper running mechanics is becoming increasingly popular among those that engage in this physical activity as part of a fitness regimen and a hobby. Today, many popular running movements exist. Examples include Chi running mechanics and the minimalism form. Runners everywhere are striving to optimize their basic running mechanics in an effort to experience the massive benefits of the exercise, increase their speed, and eliminate the possibility of injuries from occurring. According to physical therapists, running mechanics are, ultimately, determined by the overall strength and level of flexibility of certain types of muscles within the body and your general body composition. In this brief running guide, you will learn how to improve your running mechanics, based on professionals in the strength and conditioning industry. Once you learn these mechanics, you will be able to extend the amount of time you are able to run for your health by many, many years.

Running is a Skill
Based on various studies, it has been established that running is a skill that may be mastered. In researching the mechanics of the exercise, you must understand that a lot of information is currently in existence that is not accurate. This stems from the sheer complexity of running and a lack of knowledge as it relates to biomechanics. Many argue that running is a natural type of movements and efforts to correct it should be eliminated. This is a myth. Numerous motor control studies have provided insights that are highly interesting, as it pertains to running. One main insight that is relevant to the mechanics of running is that people rely on a unique combination of high level control within the brain and lower level of control within the spinal cord when it comes to both walking and running; therefore, other animals have gaits that are considered to be more reflexive and instinctually ingrained than humans. When working to improve running mechanics, it is imperative to understand that proper form is a skill that must be obtained for optimal health benefits and the ability to run for a longer amount of time.

Basic Mechanic Techniques
The absolute best running mechanics include the following:

  • Your stride should be quick and short. Many runners make the mistake of trying to lengthen their stride. If you attempt to reach forward with your feet in order to lengthen your stride, you are likely to experience injuries.
  • When running, you should ensure that you keep your knee in the proper lining with your feet. The way that you do this is to ensure that your foot strikes underneath the knee, not in the front of the knee. You may strike with the forefoot or the heel – whichever you are comfortable.
  • When running, you should always try to push up and off of the ground.
  • The proper running mechanics include keeping the elbows bent at an angle of 90 degrees, or, even less.
  • It is extremely important to keep your hands relaxed. Most people make the mistake of holding the hands at the midline and punching forward; unfortunately, this throws off your gait. You should keep your hands loose and ensure that they are located below the chest.
  • In order to optimize your running mechanics, it is important to ensure that you strengthen your core. This includes your abdominal muscles and the glutes.

Conclusion
There are several ways to optimize your running mechanics so that you are able to continue running for many, many years. In this brief guide, you have been provided with a few basic steps; however, if you truly want to up your game, you should work with a physical therapist that is educated in strength, conditioning, and toning. We are physical therapiststhat offer a wide range of solutions to improve running mechanics, including the brand new, innovative, ViPerform. If you would like more information on how we can help you continue running for many years to come, simply call us at: 303-832-5577

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