Tips For Your Torso
Use these quick tips to make immediate improvements to your running form!
- Keep your back straight. Do not bend it. Stand tall.
- “Straight” does not mean “vertical”. Your back needs to be flat, but you should be leaning slightly forward from the ankles.
- Do not tense your back. Keep it straight, but not tense. Relax.
- Run forward. Make sure you are not twisting horizontally as you stride.
- One more time for emphasis – do not twist or turn. Face forward.
- Use your arms as gas and brake pedals.
- Keeping your back straight will help you position your hips correctly.
- Your cadence is important. Keep your strides short. Long strides shift your center of gravity and your weight will shift back. You’ll end up leaning backward.
There are not a lot of tips to give on your torso – really all you are trying to do with it is to not screw up the rest of your form. If you keep your torso loose and straight, you won’t shift your weight and throw off your foot strike. So, while there isn’t a lot to getting it right, it’s very important that you make sure you’ve got it down. Not having a loose, straight torso can really hurt your form and have catastrophic consequences.
One of the biggest benefits of having good posture is that you can use your arms as levers. Think of it as a “gas pedal” and a “brake”. By pumping your arms harder, you’ll find you can control and increase your speed. You’re cadence shouldn’t change, but your stride will lengthen accordingly. This only works if you have good posture, because if you don’t, your weight will shift and you will end up foot striking, wasting energy, and not running faster.
If you’re tired and struggling on a run, check your posture. Many times you will find you have slumped over and by standing tall, you will feel an immediate lift in how you feel.
This is an article in a series about learning good running form. These articles are presented as quick-hitting, easily digestible tips which you can immediately begin to work into your form without worrying about too many things at one time. To see the entire series, click here.