Running Technique Tip: Optimising your Body Position
The fourth key principal in great running technique is Optimising your Body Position. Unfortunately when runners overstride they neglect to optimise their body position because they are simply leaning backwards and going the wrong way.
The finish line is straight ahead and that’s there for the direction that we want to lean, towards the direction of the finish.
The drill I use to teach runners how to optimise their body position I call the “Michael Jackson” drill. Why Michael Jackson you may ask, that’s simple, he has a song “Smooth Criminal” well known and in the film clip you will see him do a move very similar to the drill that Peter is about to demonstrate.
With this drill we need the runner to stand relaxed. Peter is going to lean forward as far as he can until he has to break his fall with his foot. So Peter is falling into that letting gravity pull him forwards. It all happens with relaxed ankles, and ideally Peter won’t feel much pressure under the ball of his feet. Simply falling forwards until the fall has to be broken. Now that runner is free speed, free energy, there is no energy cost for Peter to lean forwards. The one thing that would hold Peter, or any runner back, from being able to optimise the body position is if they are leaning backwards and that is a result of the overstriding problem which we addressed with the first key principal of good running technique, and that is running with the right cadence.
So, key four optimising the body position with the “Michael Jackson” drill.
Yours in Running,
Brad Beer (APAM)
Author ‘You CAN Run Pain Free!’
Founder POGO Physio