Head to toe running tutorial: How to run with the correct form and proper technique to stay injury free


Resources mentioned in the video: 

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As a runner, you know that you need to run frequently, have a solid running plan and the best equipment to become better. However, many people keep neglecting their form. This doesn't lead only to stagnating performance, but to injuries as well.

Video Transcript

Hi! This is Kyra with RunningReady. Today we are going over some tips and tricks on how to improve your running form. Now, we should always spend some time making our running form as officiant as possible so as not to waste any energy as we go. Especially on those long run days efficiency is definitely an important aspect in your run. So here is some tips and tricks to help keep you efficient as well as minimize your chances of sustaining injury. 

Okay, now when we break down running form we’re going to talk about the top all the way down. Now because something called kinetic chain exists which is how every joint in every segment move and how that movement affects the next joint in segment. We can also talk about our feet all the way up. But for purposes of today let’s start with our head. So, the first part of running posture and running form is actually having that proper head, neck and shoulder posture. So here if I make an “L” I put my index finger right here on my chin and I drop my thumb down, it should actually land right in this sternal notch. 

This is proper posture for running and proper posture for every day. What I also want to make sure I’m doing is instead of having this rounded shoulder, my shoulders are back. So, you see if I have this “L” right here my shoulders are back then my ear should automatically be over my shoulder. Now that starts to follow something called your anatomical plumb line and that’s going to be important when we talk about regular posture. Especially for running posture for this up top segment, okay?

Because as you run you go into a forward lean, a mild forward lean, but it still is forward lean nonetheless. Now when I go into this forward lean what I want to make sure I’m doing is still keeping that plumb line intact, okay? So, I go here, I don’t allow my neck to kind of get lazy. I don’t allow my shoulders to come here. I don’t let myself get into this enclosed posture. Because that’s going to affect the amount of momentum and the energy I use and get rid of in my inefficiency when I’m talking about the way my arms and my shoulders should move, right? So that kinetic chain the way that my neck and my head are positioned, as well as my shoulders, are then going to affect my arms. So, let’s talk about arms.

Alright. So now that we talked about our head and neck posture. We’re going to go ahead and move down the kinetic chain and talk about our arms and shoulders. Now, let’s use our arms, because they’re going to create momentum down all the way through our legs, through our feet to the ground as we’re running. So really use your arms. 

Now, let’s use our arms, because they’re going to create momentum down all the way through our legs, through our feet to the ground as we’re running. So really use your arms. Now what you want to do here is make sure that as your arms are going they’re not crossing your midline. Because you think about the plane of force and that force transmission as I go from here to here, my body wants to be propelled forward. If I’m like this I get into a rotation.

What’s really important when you’re using your arms and that momentum is that your core is also staying tight. Why is this? It’s because your core access the force highway to transmit that momentum and those forces from your arms and your shoulder all the way down through your legs. Our hands are also going to be important. We want to avoid any excess muscle tension or anything like that so that we don’t get cramping. 

So, a little hint for some people is that they’ll tell you either to hold your hands like you’re holding little baby ducks, little chicks or like you have potato chip in your hand that you don’t want to crack. So instead of being straight like this and then a tight fist everything is nice and loose as I’m running.Okay, let’s continue moving down. So, we’re going to talk now about our hips and kind of our trunk area and we’re going to talk about a little bit of a forward lean here as we’re running. If you remember I talked about make sure you keep that L with your neck as you go into a forward lean. 

What’s important here is that you’re not allowing your back to go into that lordosis, okay? Your core is already tight to help transmit that momentum, but now It also has to stay tight to keep your back nice. So, I just slightly lean at my hips with everything inline and that’s going to create the best posture for you.Okay, now we’re going to talk about what happens at my hips, knees and ankles as I’m running. I’m turned to the side here so you can get a better view. We go from what’s called triple flexion to triple extension. What that means is I flex at my hip, I’m flexed at my knee and you can see them in dorsiflexed position at my ankle which is often referred to as flexion. Now as I cycle through my run you’ll see as I come off on that toe-off I want to go into triple extension. My hip is an extension, my knee is an extension and I go into that plantar flexion with my ankle which is often referred to as extension of the ankle.

As I come up I cycle through and I go into that triple extension. What’s important here is that you can get up to that flexion and back down to the extension really quickly as you’re doing your speed work. It’s often helpful if you need something to stand next to to bring yourself up strikethrough, bring yourself back up and strikethrough. 

Okay, now we’re going to talk about foot strikes, so the way our foot initially hits the ground as we run. There are three types: a rearfoot strike, a midfoot strike and forefoot strike. We’re going to go through the three. A rearfoot strike is out in front of you. That’s where your heel your rearfoot hits the ground first. Now this transmits the most forces in the shortest amount of time up through the kinetic chain. You have the most force here at your calcaneus through your ankle coming up to your lower leg, your knee, to your hip and even to your low back. This is the worst kind of foot strike but if you have this naturally they make shoes that can help dissipate those forces.Next, we going to a midfoot strike. Now here you can see I’m kind of still in that triple flexion position that we talked about before. I’m landing kind of right in here the midfoot of my foot. Now this is the middle amount of forces that can be transmitted. So, it’s not quite your most shock absorbing, but it’s not necessarily the hardest force. 

Our third one, I’ll have to switch my feet, is going to be a forefoot strike. Now as I come through my cycle you can see this is actually behind me a little bit, so I’m starting to get into that triple extension position. This is your greatest shock absorption position, so your least forces are transmitted up to that kinetic chain. Now if you don’t run like this naturally don’t change the way you run too much, because biomechanically it can screw a lot of thing up. You can make some small changes such as your shoe choice or your type of running to kind of help make those changes, but you don’t want to change everything all at once.I hope you enjoyed the video. If you’re looking for more articles and videos, some running quizzes, if you want to find out what type of runner you are or maybe even pick up of our awesome run plans head on over to runningready.com where you can also see our running equipment including our incredible running belt which is an essential for any long-distance runner. Thanks for sticking around and I look forward to seeing you next time. 

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