Running can be a vigorous activity that increases longevity, burns fat, and builds muscle, yet many guys avoid it. Why? Running can kill your ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. The culprit of this pain is often poor technique, imbalances, and weaknesses.
But, by following a few strategies, you can eliminate the pain that’s holding you back and return to proper running form. Use these six tips to revamp your preparations and mechanics to get off on the right foot while running.
1. Run on your forefoot
When you run barefoot on hard ground, you’ll automatically strike the surface on your forefoot because your body intrinsically moves to better absorb shock. It’s how we’re supposed to run. By doing this, the muscles and ligaments in your ankles will act like shock absorbers to minimize the impact on your knee.
In this 2013 Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise study, forefoot strikers produced less patellofemoral stress compared to heel strikers, suggesting that people with knee injuries may want to ease their way into the forefoot strike zone.To get the feeling of where you should land on your feet, practice with a jump rope. Don’t ditch your support shoes just yet, though. You can cause further injury if you rush into a minimal-support sneaker. Try to tweak your form first, then see how it feels to run in a lighter shoe.