BY MEN’S FITNESS EDITORS
It’s easier to learn proper running mechanics if you start by standing still. First master the action your arms and legs should take, then simply lean your weight forward and you’ll naturally break into a run.
Stand straight so your ankles align with your knees and hips. Bend your right knee and raise your right leg, keeping your right foot in line with your left leg Raise your right leg until your right foot is at the same level as your left knee.
Bend your elbows 90 degrees. As your right leg rises, swing your left arm forward from your hip to eye level, so it moves in front of your chest slightly but doesn’t cross the midpoint of your body. Picture a gunslinger drawing his pistol. Your left hand should reach eye level at the same time that your right leg finishes rising. Then repeat on the other side.
Strike the ground right behind the balls of your feet. “As your body moves forward, you roll over the ball and then your foot will lift off right below the toe,” explains Steve Gisselman, C.S.C.S., assistant coach for athletic performance at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Your toes must point forward.
Keep your trunk upright (think: “big chest”) and neutral. Don’t rock from side to side, and keep forward leaning in check, even on uphills.
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