Should You Hold Your Body a Certain Way When You Run?
Published October 19, 2021.
Running often means dealing with injuries, but what is it that actually causes these injuries? The truth is that there is no correlation between the position of your body while running and how likely you are to get injured. Read the full post to learn more!
How Does Your Body Position Affect Your Running?
The human body is a complex machine, and the way we move it affects how it operates. This is true for runners as well, and it's not surprising that runners deal with many injuries. After all, there's a lot of pressure placed on our bodies as we run.
In fact, a variety of factors determine how a runner's body reacts to the movement and forces it endures. The mechanics involved in running include kinematics, kinetics, and biomaterials. All three of these affect running injuries:
- Kinetics are defined as "forces that act on a body or part of a body." As you run, forces push your joints, muscles, and bones in different directions. This could lead to inflammation or problems with your joints.
- Biomaterials are what your body uses for protection. They're the muscles, tissues, and other substances that make up a runner's body and shield it from injury. The quality of these biomaterials will determine how susceptible you are to damage or inflammation when running.
- Kinematics refers to how your body moves while running. When you run, your foot lands on the ground and then pushes off to propel you forward again. This can happen in various ways - heel-toe striking, mid-foot striking, or forefoot striking, for example.
Up until recently, it was common to assume these also impacted your chances of getting hurt while running. This assumption was tested in a recent study, and the results were surprising: It seems there's no real correlation between biomechanics and injury rates. In fact, it doesn't look like the way you're running (or how you hold your body as you do) is related to your chances of injury at all.
This is a really interesting issue because it demonstrates how human bodies don't always react the same when we do the same thing.
What Factors Can Lead To Injuries From Running?
When it comes to running, other factors have a much more significant impact on injury rates. For example, the runner's age and weight may have a significant impact - especially as our biomaterial protection does deteriorate for many older or heavier people. Other possible factors could be:
- Your nutrition.
- The amount of support you have.
- Your level of experience.
- Surface conditions or terrain.
- How gradually you're building up speed and distance.
So, should you hold your body in any particular position while running? The answer is: not really. What may help reduce your chance of injury is training gradually, eating well, making sure you get good support, and running on even terrain to minimize risk.