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10 Running Form Mistakes to Avoid

Most runners never notice something wrong in their running technique not unless they start experiencing painful running injuries. Although wearing a high-quality pair of running shoes and gearing up with running clothes is important to lessen the incidence of running injuries, still, exercising a correct running form plays a bigger role. Below are lists of the running form mistakes that runners should avoid:

Mistakes to Avoid:

  • 1. Looking down at their feet or on the road where they are running. Keeping your head down can put stress on the neck of the runner. This causes tension on the back, which increases muscle spasms. Runners should keep their head straight, and look several feet ahead of them.
  • 2. Shrugging the shoulders when tired or lean them too far forward. The tension that it causes can lead to muscle spasm and back pain. They should keep their shoulders loose and in a low level.
  • 3. Crossing the arms in front of their chest when running. This usually occurs when the runner is getting tired. Crossing their arms in front can cause slouching, which compresses the runner's chest. In turn, effective breathing is reduced.
  • 4. Hands are held to high above the hips. When hands are held too high above the hips it contracts the muscles on the shoulders. Thus, it can lead to shoulder tightening or shrugging. Hands should be relaxed and maintained in the level of the hips when running.
  • 5. Using the elbow joint to swing the arms side to side. This can cause tightening of the shoulders. Thus, runners should use the shoulder joint when swinging the arms side by side as it is more comfortable and relaxing.
  • 6. Clenching the fists when running. Clenched fists are not a relaxed position. Instead, runners should close their hands and let their fingertips touch their palms lightly. This is similar to holding an egg carefully in a way that it should not break.
  • 7. Bouncing when running. For sprinters, they need to lift their knees in a maximum position when running. However, long-distance running should keep their stride short and near the ground. This will prevent waste of energy attributed to lifting the knees to high.
  • 8. Being a forefoot and heel runner. Forefoot and heel foot strike can cause several running injuries. The best foot strike is the midfoot strike, where both heel and toes land the ground at the same time.
  • 9. Lower leg lands in front of the body when running. This means the runner is an over-strider, which is not a good running form not unless you are a sprinter. The foot should land directly underneath the body when running to prevent waste of energy.
  • 10. Slapping the feet on the ground. This causes more stress and impact on the feet. Runners should land lightly on the ground and spring off naturally using the toes.