Arm raises for relaxed postureCourtesy Nicole Clancy
When you run, try to keep your head over your shoulders, specifically, keep your ears lined up over your shoulders, with your chin parallel to the floor. Arm raises make it easier and more comfortable to hold your shoulders back and down while running, and to keep your head in proper alignment. “Your posture should be relaxed so that the effort can be put into the running” advises Dr. Millar. To do: Bend forward slightly from your hips with your back in a straight line. Begin with both arms straight down toward the floor. Next, rotate your thumbs to point up and lift both arms straight out to the side of your body. Repeat ten times. Here are even more upper body strength moves for toned arms and shoulders.
Toe touches to help you lean forwardCourtesy Nicole Clancy
Researchers concluded that running with your torso leaning slightly forward decreases knee pain. “As we alter the pull of a muscle at one end, there will be resultant changes at the other end,” shares A. Lynn Millar, PT, PhD, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at Winston-Salem State University. This means as we lean forward slightly, we increase the tension on the hip-part of the front of the thigh, or quadriceps, muscle. The result is decreased risk of knee injury and pain in the front of the knee while running. “People often think that a forward lean of the trunk involves bending at the waist to get the trunk forward. In actuality, the forward lean starts at your ankles, not your waist” says Brett Klika, strength and conditioning coach. Simple toe touches improve balance and core strength. To do: With both arms across your chest, begin by standing on your right leg. Lift your left foot off the floor. Next, bending from your hips only, bend your torso forward about six inches and then return to your starting upright position. Once you’ve mastered the form, instead of placing both arms across your chest, reach both arms toward the floor while maintaining a straight back with your chin tucked in. Do ten times, then release. Repeat on the other side for ten counts. If your legs are still achy, try these proven knee pain treatments.