Does Running Technique Matter?
Many people recognize the importance of technique when they become familiar with a sport. For instance, a basketball player is quite familiar with proper shooting form, a golfer the perfect swing, and a soccer player needs to focus on how they strike the ball. In many sports, technique is far more than just improving a skill, but can actually be critical for athlete safety. Proper tackling fundamentals must be ingrained early on in American football to avoid severe neck injuries, and many recognize that there is a heavy push in youth baseball to limit sidearm or “submarine” pitching to reduce stress to the vulnerable ligaments of the elbow. Technique isn’t just a critical aspect of ball sports, but is also a highly valuable consideration in endurance sports as well. Just as a physical therapist would discuss work ergonomics and techniques with an employee with repetitive use injury, we must consider the repetitive forces taken on by a runner or other endurance athletes as these sports result in a high amount of cumulative stress on the body over time.
The advice to run “however is natural” is very incomplete advice at best. It is true that we all are built differently, have different goals for our running, and different histories of injury and experience that make our gait mechanics unique to us. This, however, does not mean that there aren’t variables within the running gait cycle that could stand to be improved upon in order to better organize the body and limit potentially harmful forces on it. Even a training run can result in thousands of foot-falls and the way we manage this cumulative stress will determine our longevity as a runner. Making small adjustments to our running gait may spare us soreness, pain, and potentially injury.
Pose Method was developed to help reduce the impact forces of running and give runners a framework from which to develop a smooth running gait that uses nature’s forces to serve them rather than oppose and injure them. This method can be utilized to extend your running career while improving your running comfort and efficiency!
If you are interested in learning more about Pose Method or having a running gait analysis, contact Omaha Physical Therapy Institute to schedule a session with Pose Method Running Technique Specialist, Matthew Vetter, PT, DPT, CSCS.
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