2 form tips to help you run stronger and more smoothly

These two drills are easy to do at home. Focusing on form can improve your running and help you stay focused when racing at the UQ Twilight Run.

WARNING…. Do NOT do these drills if you have an injury and do them with care so not to get injured. Whilst running drills can help you improve, they can also be a higher injury risk.  

Watch the videos to give you a much better idea.

Exercise #1: Swinging arm and leg drill.

For coordination and balance.  

Stand in a clear space, preferably in front of a mirror and swing the opposite arm to the opposite leg.  Your goal is to:

  • have a smooth pendulum action as your arms swing at your shoulders and as your leg swings back and forward at the hip.  

  • stay balanced on one leg whilst doing this.  

Do this in front of a mirror and look for symmetry of the arm and leg swing. Avoid crossing your body.

Make sure to keep your head up and torso upright whilst keeping your movement controlled. Repeat on the other side.

This is a great exercise to improve your coordination and timing, which can easily get thrown off while running in a crowd.

Exercise #2: Swinging arm and leg drill with hop.

Running faster and more smoothly requires power and a fast reaction time off the ground… Light Feet and Fast Feet. To generate more power you need to focus on the push off phase’ of running. This is when you are driving off the ground with the back leg (Toe Off). There are two facets to this drill you need to focus on.  The toe off as you drive into the air, and the landing.

TOE OFF: This drill practices the power of that drive with a strong and purposeful hop.  

Start this drill as you had in Exercise #1. The simple arm and leg swing. After a few swings drive with the leg on the ground to hop vertically into the air.   You want to develop a strong and powerful hop. Learning to push off through your toes can help make you a faster runner.

LANDING: Running faster has you in the air more than on the ground. You are gliding forward and increase your stride length with little effort.

In this ‘hopping’ drill you should focus on pushing up off the ground as soon as you land. Look in the mirror… you shouldn’t have too much sinking of your body towards the ground with your knee, ankle or hip flexion. Imagine your foot and Achilles are working as a loaded spring and soon you will be able to make this happen with ease…. Well, it will take a bit of practice.wink

Looking for help on strength and injury prevention?

Book in now to see a podiatrist or physiotherapist at intraining.