Running seems like a simple enough task, but like any movement in athletics, itâ€™s a skill. Unfortunately, most people donâ€™t view running as a skill, so attention is not given to ensure people are doing it efficiently. Â There are subtle nuances in the running stride that can lead to an excess loss of energy, something I call an â€śenergy leak.â€ť Â We want to minimize these energy leaks by making our running stride as efficient as possible.
As a chiropractor that works frequently with runners, I see a lot of different running styles. Your running style is like your fingerprint. Everyoneâ€™s will be a little bit different, but when there are big variations from the norm (energy leaks) a runner may be more likely to get injured. Â Below I have listed 3 of the most common running stride faults and strategies for how you can fix them.
The Problem:Â This is one of the most common running stride faults.Â When runners overstride they strike the ground with their foot too far in front of their body. Â Running this way is like putting on the brakes with each step.Â It also sends more ground reaction forces up the leg, which may lead to injury. Â In distance runners a shorter, quicker stride is more energy efficient than a long laborious stride.
- Running is essentially a controlled fall. Â If you stand straight then allow your body to lean forward at some point you are going to need to catch yourself with your foot. Â Do this over and over, and youâ€™re running! Â You want your foot to land under your center of mass.
- Have a slight forward lean when you run.Â Let gravity be your friend.Â Land your foot close to under your body.
- Running to a metronome can help train a quicker, shorter stride. Â Apps like RunCadence make this easy to do.
The Problem:Â So we want to move forward (horizontal) when we run, rightâ€¦? There will be some bounce in a good stride, but too much vertical oscillation is an energy leak!
The Fix: Try to keep your eyes level with the horizon, and think â€śsoft feet.â€ťÂ Use the drill below to help drive this home.
The Problem:Â Â This is common in younger runners who havenâ€™t learned to control their body yet. Â The core is used to resist rotation when running. Â If the core is weak, we get â€śThe Twister.â€ť
The Fix:Â Â Anti-rotation core work is a great form of exercise for all runners. Â Below are some video examples.
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Here’s a great drill for runners to improve anti-rotational core stability. Got this one from @cliebenson. My right side has always been my least stable and most injury prone. It’s evident here! â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€” TruMotion Therapy is your answer for getting out of pain and performing at your best. CHIROPRACTIC â€˘ REHAB â€˘ DRY NEEDLING â€˘ ACUPUNCTURE â€˘ MYOFASCIAL RELEASE â€˘ LASER THERAPY Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Charlotte, NC TruMotionTherapy.com
For a full running stride evaluation or for treatment of a running injury schedule an appointment with us!Â I (Dr. Sankey) will take you through a gait analysis and a running-specific functional movement screen.Â We will discuss your previous and/or current injuries as well as your goals as a runner.Â Just click here to get started.