The Dos and Don’ts of Proper Running Form

by admin

Running is a fantastic way to stay fit and healthy, but many people don’t realize the importance of proper running form. Having good form can not only help you run more efficiently and prevent injury, but it can also enhance your overall running experience. In this blog post, we will discuss the dos and don’ts of proper running form to help you become a more efficient and injury-free runner.


1. Keep your head up and eyes forward: One of the most common mistakes runners make is looking down at their feet while running. This can cause neck and shoulder strain and throw off your overall body alignment. Instead, try to keep your head up and eyes forward, focusing on the path ahead of you. This will help you maintain good posture and breathe more easily.

2. Relax your shoulders: Many runners tend to tense up their shoulders while running, which can lead to neck and upper back pain. To avoid this, try to keep your shoulders relaxed and down, away from your ears. Imagine holding a potato chip between your shoulder blades to help you keep them in the correct position.

3. Engage your core: A strong core is essential for good running form. Engaging your core muscles while running can help stabilize your torso and prevent excessive swaying or rotation. Focus on keeping your abs tight and your back straight to maintain a strong and stable core.

4. Land softly: Another common mistake among runners is landing heavily on their feet, leading to increased impact and potential injury. Instead, try to land softly on your midfoot or forefoot, with your foot directly under your body. This will help reduce the amount of impact on your joints and muscles and make your runs more comfortable.

5. Maintain a slight forward lean: Running with a slight forward lean can help you move more efficiently and improve your speed. To achieve this, lean forward from your ankles, not your waist, and keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels. This will help you propel yourself forward with each step and prevent excessive strain on your lower back.

6. Use your arms effectively: Your arms play a crucial role in running form, helping to drive your body forward and maintain balance. Keep your arms bent at a 90-degree angle and swing them back and forth in a straight line, not across your body. Avoid clenching your fists and keep your hands relaxed to help conserve energy and improve your overall running form.

7. Focus on your breathing: Proper breathing is essential for running efficiently and preventing fatigue. Try to take deep breaths from your diaphragm and exhale fully to help oxygenate your muscles and reduce tension. Focus on breathing in rhythm with your steps to help you stay focused and maintain a steady pace.


1. Overstride: Overstriding occurs when your foot lands too far in front of your body, leading to increased impact and potential injury. To avoid overstriding, focus on landing with your foot directly underneath your body and maintaining a quick cadence. This will help you run more efficiently and reduce the risk of injury.

2. Slouching: Slouching while running can cause poor posture and put strain on your back and neck. Instead, try to keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed to maintain proper alignment. Imagine a string pulling you up from the top of your head to help you stand tall and run with better form.

3. Bouncing: Excessive bouncing while running wastes energy and slows you down. To reduce bounce, focus on running smoothly and efficiently, with a slight forward lean and quick turnover. Engage your core muscles to stabilize your torso and minimize unnecessary movement.

4. Heel striking: Heel striking occurs when your heel lands first with each step, leading to increased impact and potential injury. Instead, try to land on your midfoot or forefoot to reduce impact and improve your running efficiency. Focus on a quick and light footstrike to help you run more comfortably and prevent strain on your joints.

5. Overcompensating with arm movements: While it’s important to use your arms effectively while running, overcompensating with excessive arm movements can waste energy and throw off your balance. Keep your arms relaxed and swing them back and forth in a straight line to help you maintain a smooth and efficient running form.

6. Holding your breath: Many runners tend to hold their breath while running, which can lead to fatigue and decreased performance. Instead, focus on deep breathing and exhale fully with each breath to help oxygenate your muscles and improve your endurance. Try to establish a rhythm with your breathing to help you stay relaxed and focused while running.

7. Ignoring pain: Pain is your body’s way of signaling that something is wrong, so it’s important not to ignore it while running. If you experience persistent pain while running, stop and assess the situation. It’s better to take a break and address the issue early on than to push through and risk further injury.

In conclusion, proper running form is essential for running efficiently, preventing injury, and enhancing your overall running experience. By following these dos and don’ts of proper running form, you can become a more efficient and injury-free runner. Remember to focus on key elements such as posture, footstrike, arm movements, and breathing to help you run with better form and enjoy your runs to the fullest. Happy running!

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