Thursday training tip #5 : Run with your arms

Running is all about your legs, surely?

Wrong! It’s really important when running to have correct arm swing technique, as good arm swing technique will help reduce injury, improve efficiency and assist with maintaining a correct gait.

Here are some tips to help get your arm swing working for you:

  1. Try to keep your arms bent at close to a 90 degree angle, with relaxed ‘neutral’ hands. Your arms and elbows should move smoothly forwards and backwards, not left to right around the body. Twisting around the body wastes energy, twists your torso out of alignment with your foot strike, and causes overstriding which can all lead to injury.
  2. Avoid straight arms or a low carriage (hands at hip level). This prevents natural shoulder movement and wastes energy.
  3. Avoid scrunched arms with a high carriage (hands at chest level or higher). This causes excessive shoulder rotation, which can cause over-striding. It also wastes energy to keep your arms up like this.
  4. Your arm movement begins with the shoulders, not your torso. Your forearms are largely along for the ride, remember to keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees!
  5. Avoid keeping your arms too wide (increases torso twisting) or too close to the body (closes the chest).
  6. Keep your chest open and your chin up. You should be looking at the grond about 20-30 metres in front of you when running.
  7. Your arms set the tempo! The faster your arms swing the faster your legs go. I.e. increase your arm tempo to increase your pace. Don’t lengthen your stride as this leads to overstriding which can cause injury.

Here is a great video by Forward Running, which is really instructive for beginners or even experienced runners who might need their arm swing tuned up:

Happy running everyone!


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About getgoing-getrunning

Hi, I’m Bernie and I’m a just guy who writes about the things which get me going and get me running, even though my running is never going to result in me standing on a podium!

Posted on September 19, 2013, in Training Tips and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Thursday training tip #5 : Run with your arms.

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