When it come to form and fitness, most runners think legs, legs, legs.
That certainly makes sense, with our legs being what get us from point A to point B (and on a good day, maybe point C). Just don’t forget that even though your bottom half may be doing the bulk of the work, your top half matters, too.
That’s because what’s going on above your waistline is going to have an effect on your breathing, your posture, and your overall speed. Here are some tips for maintaining a strong upper body form.
Keep centered. Draw an imaginary line from between your eyes to between your feet. If you keep your hands and arms from crossing that line, you’ll also help keep your hips and spine straight, reducing back stress and improving efficiency overall.
Drop your hands. Ever just hold your hands up at chest height for a minute or two? It’s tiring. When you simply stand there, it’s tough to miss. Yet somehow when we’re running, it’s easy to overlook. Think about lightly brushing your hips with your thumbs as you run if your hands tend to creep upwards.
Stand up straight. Posture is the key to strong running form. By standing up tall, you’ll improve your stride, make it easier to breath, and feel better all around. If you are struggling with a slouch, think about lifting your chin and pushing your chest out. More often than not, that’ll fix you right up.
The stronger your form is above the waist, the more efficient you’ll be below the waist. The next time you hit the road for a run, think beyond your legs. They just might thank you for it.