60% of runners get injured every year

Solution - add some barefoot running and reverse running into your training

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17/07/2013 at 13:39

(if you are always injury free then pass on by)

I fully endorse barefoot and reverse running.  Barefoot running has removed all my chronic niggles - ITBS, PTS and shin splints.  Reverse running has given me extra speed in my legs.  Don't take my word for it - try it.  The best barefoot running guide is by a guy called Ken bob.  Read it!  As for reverse running....here's a few benefits i got from an article in Running and Fitness.

Running backwards gives you a fabulous cardiovascular workout.  The exercise brings into play more muscle groups, especially the quadriceps and because the feet hit the ground more quickly than in forward running more energy is expended to propel the body.  Research by the University of Oregon showed that you have to maintain only 80 percent of your forward-running speed for the same amount of effort.  Whilst other studies have shown that VO2 (oxygen consumption) and heart rate significantly increase during backward running.  It is therefore unsurprising when people claim that running backwards for just one lap could be equivalent to up to six laps of forward running.  Think of the time you could save!  There is more good news for runners struggling to lose weight – backward running apparently burns a third more calories.

Backward running restores a balance to the lower leg muscles.  Performing the same action repeatedly i.e. running forwards, without some effort to oppose it, means we are stressing the same area of the body and building up a dangerous imbalance, until it inevitably breaks down.  Bear in mind that many runners with chronic knee problems demonstrate over tight hamstrings and weak quadriceps.  Therefore, by reversing the action and running backward we are in effect performing a much needed counteraction.  In other words, “Running backwards works the calves, shins and muscles of the front thigh (quadriceps) harder than running forwards, which places more emphasis on the back of the thigh (hamstrings).  When used in combination with forward running this helps to balance the muscular strength of the legs.”  Heidi Mills, BSc (Hons) GSR (www.sportsinjuryclinic.net)

Restoring a balance partly explains why running backwards could reduce the risk of injury.  Further reasons are a change in the lower extremity kinetics and the introduction of a toe to heel foot strike.  For the majority of forward runners, the heel hits the ground first and the knees act as the reluctant shock absorbers.  However, going backwards the force related trauma is minimised.  Sort out the imbalance and integrate into our running a more favourable running style and we could be on our way to a less injury prone life. 

Backwards running is the perfect knee rehabilitative exercise because it can maintain an athlete’s cardiovascular fitness levels whilst minimising the impact at the knee joint (see above).  Furthermore, backward running develops muscles along the sides of the knee and this actually strengthens the knees over time.  Other conditions that could respond well to backward running include shin splints and muscle sprains to the lower back, groin and hamstrings

You run with a more erect posture, your shoulders will draw back and your back will be straight.  Compare this to the slightly slumped posture and protruding abdomen often observed in runners.  Studies have also shown that over time backward running can lead to realigned vertebrae and relieve pressure on the nerves.


Edited: 17/07/2013 at 13:40
17/07/2013 at 13:42

Forgot to say - choose somewhere safe to try reverse running and do it with others.  Grass field or beach perfect. 

AND why not head to the UK Backward Run and walk in Manchester to get a taster.

17/07/2013 at 13:43

Personally, I think someone needs to set up some kind of face-off between you and Ricky Bennison. 

17/07/2013 at 13:46


17/07/2013 at 14:52

Keep hydrated at all times. That will avoid more injuries than you can imagine.

17/07/2013 at 14:59

59% of running injuries are caused by running backwards into obstacles (University of Commonsense study 2013) 

seren nos    pirate
17/07/2013 at 15:02

did anyone else read that guys name as Ken Knob

17/07/2013 at 15:03

Freudian ? 

seren nos    pirate
17/07/2013 at 15:04

10 yrs ago you were recommending orthotics......now its backwards running.........whats your next thing

17/07/2013 at 15:07

Monkey Glands ? 

17/07/2013 at 15:12
Dave The Ex- Spartan wrote (see)

59% of running injuries are caused by running backwards into obstacles (University of Commonsense study 2013) 

17/07/2013 at 15:12
Ron Mountain wrote (see)


Oh, he's a legend round these here parts...

17/07/2013 at 15:16
"60% of runners get injured every year

Solution - add some barefoot running and reverse running into your training"


is this an attempt to increase that figure?

17/07/2013 at 15:34

i will meet you half way and run sideways on.

17/07/2013 at 16:06

I don't think anyone would argue that cross training is a Good Thing™ for injury prevention, is there any evidence that backwards running is better than cycling, swimming, cross-country skiing, etc, etc?

17/07/2013 at 16:08

Backwards downhill  skiing ? Now I might pay to watch that 

17/07/2013 at 16:19

It works 60% of the time, all the time.


Surely I'm not the only one who thought of Anchorman?

17/07/2013 at 16:32
Dave The Ex- Spartan wrote (see)

Backwards downhill  skiing ? Now I might pay to watch that 

I've done that!  

Not on purpose, though 

17/07/2013 at 16:54

I see the snake oil merchants are in again

so - 60% of runners get injured every year.  guess what - 100% of dead people no longer breath.

there are degrees of injury but I am damn sure that of the 60% many have injuries which quickly recover without the need for extreme action.



17/07/2013 at 17:07
It also doesn't specify if the injury was caused by running.
I've been injured this year but that was playing rugby. Does that count?
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