Running

Use your upper body.

Emphasizing the rotation of the upper body and the drive of your arms as you run can help to improve efficiency and mobility. A good way to do this is to imagine driving each arm from the hip to the ear. This ensures the arm is traveling directly forward, rather than decreasing momentum by traveling across the body.

Breathe diaphragmatically.

As oxygen requirements increase, the body will recruit the muscles of the neck and shoulders to lift the ribs in order to assist with breathing. While this is a normal physiological adaptation, it can lead to tension and immobility in the region. Emphasizing the use of the diaphragm while running can reduce the work of breathing and the development of tension in the shoulders, mid-back, and neck. Perform the Diaphragmatic Breathing exercise to practice this.

Run softly.

Symptoms experienced while running may be reduced by adjusting the pattern with which the feet strike the ground. Try shortening the length of your stride while increasing tempo, and running more on the balls of your feet. One way to do this is to try to run more quietly, without running fully on the tiptoes. Imagine using the toes to propel you forward as you run, as if you’re gripping the ground. These modifications require more activation of the muscles in the foot and ankle, so supplementing with exercises for the lower leg can be helpful when changing running style.

Prepare by stretching and strengthening.

Performing a targeted warm-up before you run can help to reduce symptoms and improve performance. Perform exercises for the feet and ankles, knees, hips, and upper body. Make sure to strengthen as well as stretch before you start.

Fore more, check out our video on the prevention of running injuries, and the full lower body workout.