Your posture is holding back your running.

Our last article brought up a fairly common condition called forward head posture and how it creates neck pain and headaches. But well before you may feel the pain and discomfort of a headache that same forward head posture can be sabotaging you training efforts while running. 

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Taking a step back and looking at the body with normal running posture, we find a perfect balance between the different planes of movement as we launch from one foot to another. However, a forward shift of the head disrupts this pattern by changing the body’s center of gravity forward.  Now the chain of muscles going down the back of the body must work much harder to keep things upright and balanced including commonly tight muscles like the hamstrings and calves.

I think we can all agree that everyone knows at least one runner with this problem.

Now that we have added extra strain to these muscles a cascade of effects can be seen elsewhere in the gait starting with foot placement. In an attempt to keep from falling forward over their feet, the unbalanced runner will try to extend their stride and reach each foot forward much further than normal. 

The complication from over stride seen now with the foot so far ahead is that the hamstring muscles will have to work even harder to initiate forward motion by pulling the body forward rather than relying on the glutes to just push the body forward. So the already overworked hamstrings are tasked with yet another load. While stretching and foam rolling will provides some relief and extended periods of rest allow the muscles to recover, The next run will just wreck havoc on the muscles all over again because of the altered movement pattern.  

This is where we can come in to help the runner perform better before there is even any pain.  By observing the athlete’s functional movements and their gait pattern, our team can diagnose the areas out of balance and start to restore mobility to tight joints and muscles while recommending exercises to target the movements that are lacking. 

If you’re ready to get the most out of your training, call us today or use our online calendar to schedule an appointment with our team.