To some of us, the word ‘posture’ makes us think of our granny telling us to stand up straight – but for runners, having a good, strong posture is vital.
Paying attention to the p-word can help you avoid physical niggles, injury and even help you bag that elusive PB.
It’s a case of practice makes perfect, though, and seeing what sticks. Try the tips below one by one while you’re out for a run and keep checking in with it until it ‘clicks’. If not, move onto the next – don’t force it.
So let’s go – our top five tips for perfect posture!
Watch your breathing. Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, with pursed lips rather than mouth open wide, helps you regulate your breathing. What’s breathing got to do with posture, we hear you cry? Well, the exhale part of the breath cycle calms your central nervous system, helping your whole body relax – and making some of the following tips a bit easier.
Look 50m ahead. Get your head upright and straight and everything else will follow. Not only that, but your hips and knees will be able to move without obstruction from a bent torso and you’ll be able to scan the way ahead for obstacles and trip hazards.
Relax those arms. Running like a cartoon character with your arms pumping and flailing all over the place can knock you off-balance – plus, it wastes valuable energy. Don’t swing across your midline or up to your chest; instead, keep everything relaxed, with upper arms hanging vertically and your elbows bent at around 90 degrees.
Shoulders loose. Relaxing your shoulders means you can breathe in to your full lung capacity, keeping your heart rate low. It also means you engage your core muscles, which helps keep that all-important running posture strong.
Feet below your body. Landing your feet below your body rather than in front means you’re springing up and forward from a bent knee, propelling you forward with more energy. It also means you’re less likely to land on your heel, which acts as a braking mechanism.