This multimedia learning experience features 50+ pages, 12 tools, 8 groups of exercises, and links to more than 25 videos—all designed to make you a faster, stronger, and more confident runner—and all for free.
Whether you're a novice or experience runner, fast or slow, you're in the right place if you want to learn some new tricks and build your runner's toolkit.
Posture is dynamic, transient and ever-changing – the result of our past experiences, injuries, emotions, activities, lifestyle choices and interaction with the environment. Posture is “your story” and how you present yourself to the world.
That’s wonderful if yours is already excellent, but quite daunting otherwise. Changing your posture isn’t as easy as saying to yourself, “Stand up tall, don’t slouch, shoulders back,” etc. You have to first identify your habits, emotional and mental state and daily routines. In other words, you have to analyze your entire lifestyle.
That could lead to some startlingly obvious realizations. For example, if you have frequent right-sided neck pain, that’s because you’re most likely turning to the right a majority of every day for a substantial amount of time. When your neck is in that position for too long, it doesn’t want to go there again and it lets you know.
Pain is a request for change.
Bad posture can be a request for emotional, mental or even spiritual change. Think about a time when you felt sad, angry or anxious. Really get a good picture of yourself while you do. Notice yourself slouching?
Now consider a day when you were super confident. How were you standing or holding yourself then? The difference can be enormous. Whether that’s in a positive or negative fashion depends on how well you’re able to analyze yourself going forward – or right now.
Start with a self-assessment of your current day. How do you sit, stand and lean? Which side of the keyboard is your mouse on? Which hand do you hold your phone in? How do you drive? How are you breathing?
In other words, start with a solid awareness of what you do. The goal in all of this, of course, is to find our optimal movement efficiency. Ours. Not anyone else’s. Each of our bodies is made differently just like our days hold different to-do lists. So we need to learn how to best handle all that. There is no one-size-fits-all perfect posture.
There are basic guidelines you can consider while figuring out your optimal expression. Having the rib cage (thoracic diaphragm) stacked over the pelvis (pelvic diaphragm), for one, contributes to improved energy transfers.
Additionally, think of the posture of your foot, which is the only contact point between the ground and our body. If it’s overly rigid and locked, you’ll have a difficult time loading forces well, which can then contribute to a whole host of injuries.
The foot actually needs the ability to become somewhat unstable and mobile in order to appropriately load impact forces. Naturally, if it’s too unstable and mobile, it can’t effectively strike the ground with the appropriate stiffness needed to efficiently unload force.
If you look at proper acceleration, there’s strong arm action, hip drive, dorsiflexion of the ankle, and stacked posture (rib cage over pelvis). This helps the runner “attack the ground,” or drive the ground away.
When runners transition into absolute speed, they’re more upright while, once again, striking the ground underneath of them. The posture allows for strong, efficient, optimal ankle motion; hip drive; and, of course, arm action.
To work on optimal posture for running, try the following exercises:
Wall Hold Posture Exercise
Dynamic Wall Hold Posture Exercise
Seated Arm Swing Exercise
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Dr. Arianne Missimer is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Registered Dietitian, and Founder/CEO of the Movement Paradigm. She is trained extensively in movement from the ground up, foot and ankle biomechanics, footwear, and injury prevention and rehabilitation for common running injuries.
Brock Butler is an athletic coach and competitor focusing on running events from 1-mile track races up to 100-mile ultra marathons. He has recently won the 40+ masters division at the Philly Marathon (2017), Blues Cruise 50K trail race (2017), USATF Masters 3000m Indoor Nationals (2018), and Cherry Blossom 10 mile race (2018). Brock’s passion is helping athletes of all ages gain satisfaction and confidence by fully expressing their potential as a runner. He started Run Expression to provide athlete education, coaching services, and a social community in the Philly region.
There is so much to learn and experience. So many ways that running will contribute to your overall wellbeing. We'll help you get the most out of whatever time and energy you decide to commit to your athletic pursuits.
Upgrade your running with some new tools and knowledge.