Running is a beautiful activity when you can find harmony with your body and get to where you want to go as fast or as slow as you want. Unfortunately people aren’t always mindful and can rush their runs and get sloppy with their technique which can cause them pain or just keep them from reaching their potential. In this 3 part series I’ll go over the 3 main mobility issues I see runners face and provide some strategies to help.
The Upper Body
Posture- If you lean forward your balance will be off and breathing will be suffer
Stride length- Posture and forward arm drive helps you stabilize as you reach hip extension.
Efficiency- Tightness in the upper back will limit your arm swing making you less efficient
Very few runner’s talk about their neck, shoulder and torso tightness, but the fact of the matter is most runner I see have their shoulders rounded forward and/or hyper-extended lower backs causing them to shorten their stride and put their bodies through unnecessary pounding. With a restricted shoulder your arms wont be able to extend back behind you as you drive down the opposite foot causing them to have to swing out to the side then across your body, this added motion takes more time and consumes more energy decreasing your running economy.
The other main issue I see with runners is their posture, the taller you can run the farther you can travel each stride. As soon as you start slouching or arching your lower back you cause your hips to sink lowering your center of gravity thus shortening your stride. If you are able to stack your shoulders on top of your hips with your shoulders back you put your body in a better position to apply force efficiently allowing you to run longer and faster.
Here are a few of my favorite mobility drills for your upper body