Better Running Form: Injury Prevention And Performance

Better Running Form: Injury Prevention And Performance

📅August 24th, 2015, 17:55

Recharge recently hosted an awesome running form clinic with the Deschutes Mulitsport Club featuring Dave Cieslowski, physical therapist extraordinaire from Focus Physical Therapy. During the clinic, the attendees learned a lot and even got to participate in some eye opening exercises that questioned what they knew about muscle activation and proper running form. We learned there is a lot of controversy on what the correct and most efficient running form is – form is something that differs greatly from athlete to athlete based on their unique genetics and structure.

23strides-span-600When looking at top elite runners it is apparent that they all have different gaits with some being drastically different, yet they are all running similarly fast times. How is that so? Although everyone has different running gaits, strong runners do tend to generally follow a few similar guidelines that help them be more efficient, perform better, and stay injury free.

For example, most elite runners tend to run right at 180 steps per minute…and they can do this at any pace. They are light on their feet and have minimal contact time. One of the biggest differences between efficient, non-injured runners and those who are less efficient and prone to injury that Dave outlined is proper muscle activation, specifically glute activation.

A lot of runners tend to “hamstring their way through their stride” instead of using their glutes and hip flexors properly. This can create unnecessary stress at the knees and other parts of the leg, which can lead to injury. Athletes tend to think they have tight or weak muscles, which can be the case, but a lot of the time it’s a neuromuscular issue in which the body isn’t activating the right muscles at the right time. Improper muscle activation can be caused by a lot of different things related to lifestyle and individual biomechanics, and there are a plethora of exercises and form cues you can use to help get those glutes firing properly! Remember to focus on proper form not only while you are running, since you spend most of your time walking around doing other things! Improper muscle activation can be caused by a lot of different things related to lifestyle and individual biomechanics, so schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable physical therapist to help establish why it is happening and how to fix it…good thing Dave and the amazing Focus Physical Therapy staff are right here in Recharge, right? 

If you missed this running form clinic or need a refresher, watch these clips from Dave’s presentation to help you better understand proper biomechanics and muscle activation for better running form, injury prevention, and increased performance! #youbetter