Running Around Budapest: Top Technique Tip 4, By Ryan Phillips

  • 23 Jun 2015 9:00 AM
Running Around Budapest: Top Technique Tip 4, By Ryan Phillips
Now that we've covered the forefoot style of running, incorporating good head position, <a href="" target="blank">eyes on the horizon</a>, <a href="" target="blank">forward lean </a> and <a href="" target="blank">optimal body alignment </a> we now need to look at the important role that the shoulders, arms and hands play during locomotion...

Shoulders, arms and hands

The arms should aid in helping propel us forward by driving a counter rotation in the trunk on the pelvis. Without this upper body counter rotation, the pelvis would have to pick up the extra rotation, causing excessive rotation at the lumbar spine.

This excessive hip rotation can be seen in people that walk on the treadmill whilst holding on to the bar or pushing a pram - the upper body can't rotate like it needs to so the rotation is picked up in pelvis which can lead to lower back pain. For this reason it's better not to hold on to anything whilst brisk walking or running if you can help it.

So to achieve optimal upper body rotation we need to keep the shoulders relatively fixed but at the same time relaxed and not hunched up. We create the upper body rotation by driving the elbows to the rear in a 'piston like' action. This driving of the elbows transfers to the fixed shoulders on the rib cage causing the upper body to rotate slightly. We need to maintain a 90-100 degree bend in the elbows and hands remain open and relaxed.

Here are the top 3 common mistake I see runners make with regards to shoulders, arms and hands:

Mistake No. 1:

Instead of driving the elbows to the rear in a piston like fashion, they bring their arms across the front of their body in more of a sawing like action which results in a rolling of the shoulders and way too much upper body rotation. This creates a lot of inefficiency and wasted energy.

Mistake No. 2:

Instead of the 90 degree elbow position, their elbows are fully flexed with their hands almost touching their shoulders, like a boxer in the guard position. The problem with this is that your arms (namely your biceps) will tire quickly and it'll be more difficult to achieve the optimal upper body rotation.

Mistake No. 3:

Hands in fists. Clenching the fists is just more wasted effort and tends to result in more tension held in the arms and shoulders. Keeping the hands open and relaxed will help to reduce unnecessary tension in the shoulders and arms reducing upper body fatigue.

Ryan will be holding a Running Techniques workshop on the morning of Saturday 27th June where he’ll be coaching a small group of people though his 5 technique tips to better running.

Keep an eye out for Ryan’s Running Technique Tip No. 5 coming up soon…

Live event on Facebook:

Group A - 9am

Group B - 10am

Registration link for people that are not on Facebook

Ryan Phillips is widely recognized as a leading expert on health and fitness. As a Personal Trainer and Muscle Activation Techniques Specialist, Ryan specializes in body re-composition, resistance training (RTS - Resistance Training Specialist) and sports injuries, prevention and rehabilitation.

During his 11+ years as a freelance Personal Trainer Ryan has personally helped hundreds of clients from all around the world to lose weight, transform their bodies and regain control of their health and wellbeing. With clients as far a field as Australia and New Zealand - due to the wonders of the internet - Ryan has been able to reach out and help people get in great shape and recover from injuries from all around the world via Skype.

Ryan has developed his own unique “Fat Loss System for Success” which takes a holistic approach to weight loss and addresses the three main areas of exercise, diet and lifestyle.

Over the last decade, Ryan has presented at many gatherings and conferences, delivering his information and knowledge in a dynamic and engaging manor. Ryan holds full status on the European Register of Exercise Professionals (EREPs) and holds full world wide Public Liability Insurance.

Ryan has been featured on BBC Radio Berkshire, he has also featured in Zest magazine, Health Magazine and has appeared on numerous occasions in the media proving to be a valuable source of health and fitness related information to audiences world wide.

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