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A llong post about running form.

Wahine2012-05-06 04:23:59 +0000 #1
It's free advice to take for what it's worth...

This is a handout that I give at my running clinics about form and drills to correct them. Some of the drills have youtube links to them. Keep in mind that if you have an injury, some of these drills may not be appropriate for you.

Common Running Faults and Drills to Correct Them

This is a collection of the most common running faults that I see as a Physical Therapist and coach and the drills I use most to correct them. It is best to have someone perform video tape analysis to assess your specific running faults. Video analysis should include views from the back, side and front. I perform video tape analysis as both a physical therapist and a coach. If you have questions about these services please contact me via the email or phone number listed below.

The body moves in three dimensions. It is therefore possible to classify running faults into each of these 3 planes of motion.

The Saggital Plane:

Heel striking at initial contact: skipping, high skipping, bare foot running

Over striding: cadence work with metronome (84 to 88 cycles per minute), skipping

Inadequate push-off, great toe extension and insufficient use of the gluteus maximus: high skipping, spin-ups

The Transverse Plane:

Insufficient trunk rotation: cross arm drill, standing rotation drill

Crossing over: line drill

The Frontal Plane:

Poor pelvic stabilization: line drill, cross arm drill, one legged mini squats

Excessive pronation and knee vlagus (knock kneed): line drill, cross arm drill, one legged mini squats

Crossing over: line drill

Most of the drills listed here are meant to be done for 30 sec to 1 min as part of a warm-up to prepare for a full running workout. If the exercise is meant to be done in some other manner, it will be mentioned in the description.

Drill descriptions:

Skipping: Video From YouTube:(link)
– The runner skips forwards by taking very small steps. Focus on high knees, quick feet and twisting the upper body to bring the opposite elbow above the lifted knee.

High Skipping: Video From YouTube:(link)
– Same as skipping above, but try to go as high as possible. The landing foot should still only land just in front of the take off leg. Short but high steps.

Cross arm drill: Video From YouTube:(link)
– The runner crosses the arms on the chest such that the hands are firmly grasping the shoulders and runs with the arm crossed this way.

The line drill: Video From YouTube:(link)
– The runner uses a line to focus on running with the feet somewhat separated. The idea is to run along a line on the track, tennis court or similar, having the feet land on either side of the line. The motion is similar to what would happen if the runner was “running tires”. There should be a sense of bounding from one foot to the other.

Barefoot running: Video From YouTube:(link)
– Pretty self explanatory. Find a safe place on a softer surface, like a soccer field or a track and run barefoot. Focus on landing lightly on the mid to fore foot and moving with fast light feet.

Standing rotation drill – The runner stands with their back at a wall such that if they twist their trunk about 60 degrees, the shoulder and elbow contact the wall. This can also be done with a partner. The partner gives a target with their hands that the runner tries to touch with the elbow by twisting the shoulders. Once in position the runner rotates the trunk back and forth, touching the elbow and shoulder to the target. The pelvis should stay completely still, hips facing forwards. Speed can be increased as able.

Cadence work: Video From YouTube:(link)
– Most elite endurance runners have a cadence of 84 to 88 RPM. Running at a higher cadence shortens the stride out front allowing for a stride that “rolls” forward with less “braking” thereby allowing the runner to maintain smooth forward momentum. Over-striding results in the foot landing too far out in front of the body and will actually fight your forward momentum. The cadence demonstrated in the video link is 84 RPM (168 steps per min). The drill is to simply run using a metronome and try to hit the desired cadence. The idea is to practice cadence as part of your warm-up but to also do cadence intervals of 1 to 2 min as part of a running workout.

One legged mini squats: Video From YouTube:(link)
– Standing on one foot, hands on the hips, cock the non-weightbearing hip up slightly. Do a small one legged squat (about ¼ of full range) while focusing on maintaining knee alignment over the 2nd toe of the weight bearing foot and keeping the non-weightbearing hip high. The goal is to be able to do up to 40 reps at once with good form.

Spin-ups – This drill is done as part of your regular run. Every 5 min try to increase your turn-over and focus on pushing out the back of your stride for about 30 sec, then go back to your regular form.


salsabike2012-05-06 04:33:04 +0000 #2
Thank you! Yay. I am ALWAYS looking for this kind of info.
OakLeaf2012-05-06 04:32:14 +0000 #3
Nice. Thanks Wahine.
Melalvai2012-05-06 04:39:54 +0000 #4
I about fell over when I tried the one legged mini squats.
OakLeaf2012-05-06 06:01:45 +0000 #5
I've been working a lot on foot and ankle strength and flexibility. I still do my one-legged barefoot heel raises with the option of support (behind a couch or chair, by the kitchen island), but after three months I'm just getting to where I can sometimes do all 15 without hanging on. I never used more than fingertips, but that makes a huge difference...
jessmarimba2012-05-06 05:27:08 +0000 #6
The guy I'm trying to work with now demands a heel strike, but with the foot directly under the body. Oh my goodness my feet do not want to do that. I can't pick my toes up enough to not slap my feet and thud along. I'm trying to decide if this is worth it.

(He's certainly knowledgeable - about how he runs - but I'm not sure it's going to work for me. Or whether it's worth it to retrain myself).

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