by dr.g

Studies|Research  suggest that every year 79% of runners will suffer some form of injury|pain.  However, it isn’t running that is causing these injuries it is the form with which many people run (the bad form that is) that is most likely creating a lot of these problems.  Think about it this way. If you wanted to learn to play tennis, golf, baseball or any sport for that matter there are two ways to go about it. You can just pick up the equipment and go for it, or you can get some instruction. With all of the above sports the majority that have ever played on any level have had some sort of coaching or instruction. However, when it comes to running, most of us just take the former approach, lace up the shoes and go out and do it. Most have never  had any real running instruction and have therefore left it to chance that they are running with ideal|decent form.

Many runners start off with bad standing posture and weak core strength and they bring that form to running which sets them up for hip and back injuries. Other common errors include overstriding, landing improperly, are torsos are too upright or worse yet slouch.

GOOD FORM RUNNNING is a program owned by New Balance Running Company and  is a checklist of helpful tips to help improve running posture and form and help reduce injuries.  Below are the main points that most of us should focus on to improve our running form.  Shorten your stride. Ideally if you are counting strides, your left or right foot should hit the ground around 90 times in a minute. Shortening the stride reduces the stress and strain on your hamstrings and qauds, and sets you up for a better foot strike.  Foot Strike or landing should occur at the midfoot rather than the heel. Landing on the heel causes braking and a lot of excessive joint stress and wasted energy. Arm Swing-with relaxed shoulders and arms the elbows should be bent around 90 degrees and the arms should swing straight forward and backward, never crossing the midline, as if you were pulling yourself along a rope. Posture-last but certainly not least, stand tall with head over spine, spine over hips and hips over feet. Lean forward slightly from the ankles (about 10 degrees) not the hips. Some have likened proper running to a controlled fall forward, allowing gravity to propel you forward.

Follow these tips above and check yourself before ,several times during and near the end of each run to be conscious of your form. Insert running drills weekly into one of your runs to help improve form and before you know it you will be running faster and farther with less effort and less pain. If you have poor standing posture, it may be necessary to work on exercises to improve this first before you can realistically improve your running posture. May is Correct Posture Month so it is a great time to be thinking about this and making improvements. If you have questions about this article or are interested in improving your posture you can call Dr. Ginsberg at his office 630-232-6400 and ask for the Posture Month Special Evaluation.

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