Watch Your Running Form for These Common Mistakes

July 21, 2016

Running looks easy—after all, it does come naturally to us. How hard can it be? Surprisingly, running without proper form over long distances can cause injuries and damage your body. Even if you are a runner with experience, mistakes can still be made. So when going on your daily run outdoors or on your treadmill, watch your form for these mistakes so you can improve your running technique:

Striking with Your Heel

Heel striking is a running technique that is generally advised against because it is thought to decrease efficiency and increase the chance of injuries like shin splints and knee pain. That is why trainers typically advise runners to strike with the forefoot. Plus, striking on the mid-foot allows you to push off with greater force than with the heel, propelling you forward more efficiently.

Overstriding with a Low Strike Rate

Unnecessarily increasing your stride length puts unnecessary pressure on the body and the longer your stride is, the harder you land. In addition, it reduces your strike rate, or how often your foot hits the ground, and makes your knee straighten which causes it to not absorb shock correctly.

Instead, keep your strides short with a higher strike rate. That way, pressure on your body is reduced and you will also run faster with a reduced chance of injury.

Tensing Up Your Body

Having a tense body while running will only slow you down and expend more energy. When running, relax and have good posture, which means:

  • Relaxed jaw and facial muscles, which helps the whole body relax
  • A straight, relaxed back to prevent slumping and general back pain
  • Hands relaxed with a slightly open fist, which prevents tense shoulders and arms
  • Shoulders dropped and not held up towards the ears to prevent shoulder pain
  • Belly pulled in towards your spine to engage your core and prevent lower back pain

With a relaxed body, you will be able to run better and not feel as achy afterwards. If you’re unsure how your posture, have a friend or professional trainer spot you.

Breathing with Your Chest

Feeling out of breath? You may be breathing from your chest rather than your stomach, which prevents your body from getting the oxygen it needs. In fact, breathing with your chest is unnatural as it causes your breaths to be shallow. To correct your breathing, practice taking slow, deep breaths through your stomach. Not only will you be breathing better, but will feel more relaxed, helping prevent tension.

Browse Our Selection of Treadmills Today