Run with your arms!

This morning I was out doing a light run. The rain was coming down and the temperature lingered around 48 degrees. During times like this I slow down and take in the scenery; plus today was a light run before my long run tomorrow. Other runners were out braving the conditions, especially ones that had incorrect arm swing. As runners passed me going in the opposite direction, I could not help notice their lack of arm movement or extreme side-to-side motion.

Years ago when I first started running, I can remember my cross country coach teaching us to always swing our arms while running. Coach William Chavis taught us to swing our arms forwards and backwards, mirroring our leg movements. To this day I can remember him yelling at me from the top of a hill during a race, “Philip, swing those arms- get up this hill.” Ever since that moment I have always been conscious about proper arm movement.

Here are some tips to live by-

  1. Relax your shoulders, keep your arms at 90 degree angle
  2. Keep arms close to your body
  3. Swing your arms forwards and backwards opposite from your leg movements. Left leg goes forward- right arm goes forward and vice versa
  4. Your arms should move forward and back, not across your body
  5. If running up hill, shorten your stride and swing your arms a little faster

Apply these tips to running or walking long distances, and you will gain speed while reducing fatigue.

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