Listen up all avid runners, read this article to ensure your body posture and alignment are in order while out on your daily runs.
Many often enjoy running as it comes with plenty of health benefits. However, if not done correctly, it could lead to serious injuries. Because of this, it’s important to pay close attention to your body posture and alignment when running.
Below you’ll discover more information about why this is crucial and some ways you can help to improve your running posture and alignment.
Why Proper Body Posture is Important For Runners While Running
There are a handful of reasons why proper body posture is important to use when running. When using the correct posture and alignment, it will stop unnecessary strain and tension to your body. It will also prevent numerous running injuries, such as runner’s knee, which are usually caused because of improper posture.
In addition to this, by using correct body posture and alignment, it can stop you from feeling fatigued when running. This can then encourage you to have longer running sessions.
What Causes Improper Running Posture and Alignment?
Improper running posture and alignment can be caused by a few things.
The Running Surface
The type of surface you run on can cause your posture and alignment to be off. For instance, running on pavement can help support your body a bit more than if you run on a soft surface such as sand.
Your shoes might also be the culprit behind bad running posture. This is because they might not support your body well or could cause friction and pressure on your ankles and lower legs when they hit a hard surface.
Common Running Injuries
If your body posture and alignment isn’t correct, it can lead to numerous injuries.
As one of the most common running injuries, runner’s knee is caused when the cartilage in your knee starts to wear out. This can cause pain when you walk, squat, or sit.
Runners experience shin splints occur when your tibia sends out shooting pain in your lower leg. Shin splints are usually caused when you overwork your feet and legs.
This injury is formed when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed due to excessive motion and overworking of the heel when running. It can cause swelling, stiffness, and tenderness around the Achilles tendon.
A stress fracture is a small break in your bone. It develops slowly and creates a small crack in the affected bone. Stress fractures can be very painful and lead to swelling in the area. It could also drastically affect how you walk or run if not treated.
A muscle strain is when there’s a small tear in your muscle because it has been overstretched. This can lead not only to pain when you move the affected area, but an awkward popping sensation as well.
Tips for Proper Running Posture
When running, it’s very important that you use proper posture.
Keep Your Gaze Forward
Many runners make the mistake of looking down when they run. When running with your head tilted down, it can put tension on your neck and shoulders. Because of this, it’s important to keep your gaze forward and focused on an area at least 20 feet ahead of you.
Watch Your Spine
It can be very easy for runners to slouch and tilt their spine down when running. While this position might be comfortable at first, it can eventually cause strain to your back.
This posture can also make you feel tired faster. To help prevent this, keep your head up, spine straight, and your shoulders back. Here are signs your spine is out of alignment.
Don’t Clench Your Hands
A common problem with some runners is that they clench their hands when running. However, this can hurt your running posture and cause tension not only in your arms and shoulders, but in your spine as well.
Due to this, you’ll want to make sure to keep your hands relaxed when running.
Other Ways to Improve Your Body Posture and Alignment When Running
There are plenty of ways you can improve your body posture and alignment when running. Below are some methods to keep in mind.
Use the Services of a Chiropractor
A chiropractor for running injuries can help to significantly reduce your chances of more severe injuries down the road. Chiropractic care will use various adjustments on your body to help keep your muscles flexible.
This can prevent many injuries because the adjustments make sure to reduce tension and pressure in your feet, legs, spine, pelvis, neck, and shoulders.
One adjustment your chiropractor might use is the Active Release Technique (ART). This adjustment focuses on the body’s soft tissues and the nerves and muscles that surround a problematic area. It will usually involve the use of pressure on a tissue or muscle.
Your chiropractor might also incorporate massage therapy during the session.
Over time, regular chiropractic care will help you to not only keep your spine aligned, but prevent muscle tears, micro-trauma, and many other serious injuries.
Runners Should Stretch Your Muscles
Another way to help improve your posture and alignment when running is to stretch your muscles. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep your muscles relaxed which can prevent injuries. However, make sure to stretch frequently. If you don’t, tension in your muscles will only increase which will make stretching a bit harder.
Do Hamstring Exercises For Runners
Your hamstring is an important muscle in your thighs that connects your hips to your knees. Improper running posture and alignment is often caused when the hamstring is not strong enough to support your body when running. By runners performing hamstring exercises, they can improve their running posture while also preventing severe injuries.
You’ll also be able to build more endurance in your body by doing so.
Running is a great way to exercise, but it needs to be done properly. Otherwise, it will not only cause strain to your body, but could lead to significant injuries as well. To prevent such things, make sure to keep the tips mentioned above in mind.
They will help to ensure you use the right running posture and alignment so your runs can be more fulfilling.
About Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. has been a chiropractor for over 20 years and has treated thousands of patients. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998 and is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians.
Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.