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How to Develop the Best Running Stride (INFOGRAPHIC)

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Nobody said running was supposed to be easy. It’s hard enough just to keep going when you’re feeling tired, sore, and ready to collapse. So, why make it harder on yourself by running with bad technique? Not only does bad technique make running more difficult; it can also put you at an increased risk for injury.

A new infographic from Mayo Clinic shares a few essential pointers on technique that every runner should take note of. Whether you’ve been running for years or just laced up on January 1, don’t miss these important stride modifications…

7 Ways to Create a Healthy Running Stride

  1. Look forward (not down at your feet) to maintain balance and good spinal posture.
  2. Lift the chest up and out. This allows your lungs to fully expand. Deeper breaths = more oxygenated blood flow.
  3. Align your head and shoulders. It’s easy to fall into a bad habit of rotating the torso, but this rotation is a waste of energy. Maintain alignment.
  4. Keep hands at waist level. Your hands should only move forward and back – not side-to-side. Again, side-to-side movement is a waste of energy, which can impact your performance – especially on a longer run.
  5. Strike with the mid-foot. Heal striking may increase risk of injury.
  6. Bend slightly in the knee. Your foot should land directly beneath the knee. Think of the knee as driving forward, not upward. Upward energy is unnecessary.
  7. Ask a trainer for analysis. A trainer or sports medicine physician may be able to analyze your stride. Experts are able to see things about your stride that aren’t apparent to you. This is an excellent way to discover and correct flaws.

Not a runner… yet? Don’t miss this post on how to become a runner. Then, once you get started, be sure to check out these Houston Sports Medicine & Orthopedics blog posts:

Schedule With a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor

For help with running injuries and performance, schedule an appointment with a Houston sports medicine physician. Call (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.