Bad Running FormHow do you know you have bad running form or movement? See below…
Notice the tendency in wearing shoes to learn to hyperextend the whole leg out in front of one’s center of gravity, which is in the hips.
This behavior also locks out the natural suspension that creates shock absorption via the flexion of the foots arches, ankle, knee, hip and spine.
Landing on the heel over works the shin muscle which was never designed to purely keep the front of the foot from doing a “face plant” – on the pavement. Trying to keep the shins chronically tensioned is what leads to shin splints, heel spurs and broken metatarsals (the finger like bones that connect the toes to the ankles through the arch.)
How to Run Properly
Proper Running form happens when we realize that running is not pulling ourselves across the land or “Pole Vaulting over our Center of Gravity”, nor leaping into the air only to crash land back on the Earth causing momentum losing impacts while relying on a bit of foam in a shoe to make up for bad form.
The easiest way to understand what proper running form looks and feels like, is to simply run in place.
Go ahead right now in front of your computer… Run in place and notice what part of the foot you naturally land on when running in place…
Notice how naturally bent the knees are on alternating the landing of each foot on the floor, during loading and how all your doing muscle wise is using the foot, calf and quadriceps to store energy, then lifting with the hamstring and allowing gravity lower the foot back to the ground under ones center of gravity under the hips to shift the weight from right to left then left to right over and over again.
Notice the lack of foot, leg and and hip trauma compared to hyper extending the leg to knee lockout and landing on the heel?
To create forward momentum or as I call it “Land Surfing” Add the next phase by adding a slight forward lean forward at the ankle level (not the waist line!) and you will suddenly have forward motion. The torso needs to be centered upright over the pelvic bowl (pelvis when viewed from above). Think of the position of a unicyclist or a Segway standing still vs leaning slightly forward from axle level to create momentum.
The speed of the forward motion will mostly be predicated to your being fit from the ground up enough to maintain about a 180 steps per minute cadence of transferring your weight from one foot to the other directly under your center of gravity.
No pulling, no pushing, no leaping… Just transferring weight from one side of the body to the other at a 180 step per minute cadence.
The only improvements from here will come from refining diet, hydration and proper rest.
More on those topics in a future post.