POSTURE & RUNNING FORM
How you hold your body dictates everything from the way you breathe right down to foot strike and what muscle groups you’re using. We’ve seen a lot of lower leg and foot issues lately and even with footwear switches and adding supportive inserts to shoes, getting that next level of recovery from a persistent niggle can start by looking at posture. Rule number one for running posture, stand tall!
The most common mistake athletes make is hinging at the waist. It’s important to remember your slight forward lean starts at the ankles. You want to avoid bending over at the waist as this will make it more difficult to activate your glutes, as well as causes your hips to sit back and core to deactivate. I like to have athletes think of forward lean as a controlled fall. Lead forward with your chest up and keep your body in a straight line. As soon as you feel yourself falling over, take a stride and begin running.
I’ve been mentioning to runners struggling with glute activation to work on standing taller on their runs. A good way to make sure you are standing tall, keeping your feet, hips, shoulders and head in alignment is by thrusting your pelvis forward. By thrusting your pelvis forward so your glutes stay in line with your shoulders and feet, you’re going to be activating your core more effectively, staying out of the saddle (hip sag), improving knee drive and using your glutes to propel you forward rather than lower legs. You should feel a slight squeeze with each foot strike, especially on hills!
Keep your head and chin up and avoid looking down at your feet. Looking at your feet is the quickest way to cause a hunch or seated position/hip sag that will result in the overuse of your calves and lower legs. Keeping your head up also keeps your diaphragm open and allows you to breathe more efficiently. This is particularly important for uphill running when it’s very common for athletes to put their heads down and look at their feet. Keep that head up, looking several steps in front, even if you are power hiking.
Finally, there is a good explanation and video on pelvic thrust at 2:40 into this form analysis by Sage and Sandy and would recommend you guys all check it out! This is a real game changer! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RlvKMxPMr0
TJ & The Microcosm Team.