Improve Your Stride Sequence

Perfect your running technique from impact to takeoff


Posted: 3 May 2011

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Researchers at Stanford University, US, analysed a single stride sequence to determine which muscles activate and when. We asked a trainer how to strengthen your weak spots so you become a better runner.

1. Impact

The key to diffusing impact is to land closer to your centre of gravity, says Dicharry (who wasn't involved in the running study). A shorter, quicker stride helps. And once a week, run barefoot on grass. "You'll avoid landing heavily on your heels, "Dicharry says. "You'll naturally take shorter strides and land closer to your body."

Hips


Most runners don't extend their hips properly because their legs don't stretch back enough, says Jay Dicharry, director of the Speed Clinic at the University of Virginia, US. They compensate by landing in front of their body, adding to the impact.

Upgrade:
Stretch your hip flexors

After a run, kneel on one knee, keeping your back straight. Tilt your pelvis backward and hold for 60 seconds. Repeat three times on each side.


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