For runners, maintaining a proper running form is not just about looking good; it's a crucial element that can significantly affect our running economy, our ability to avoid injuries, how we feel while running, and our overall health. To obtain a good running posture, we must first have basic good posture. If we don't have good posture to start with, it is impossible to have it while running. improve our posture
Most of us can use some improvement to our posture; and fortunately, there is a simple movement that I will share in this article that can instantly improve our posture.
The most essential part of good posture is a straight back, shoulders down and head high. This posture ensures our chest is open, allowing us to breathe freely and efficiently when running and equally important--when not. Even if the rest of our posture is not perfect, we need to ensure that we at least get this part right!
The simple movement shown below can improve our posture instantly and can also provide many other health benefits.
We often tend to slouch while performing our regular activities during the day, which then often becomes our normal posture. This slouching posture not only looks bad, but restricts our breathing and puts undue pressure on our heart and lungs.
When we are running and become tired, we tend to drop our heads and round our shoulders, which makes it even more difficult to run and breath. This is when it is most important to correct and improve our posture.
So how can we instantly improve our posture instantly? Turn our palms up! Yes, it is that easy and simple as shown in the picture below. This movement is often used in a basic meditation/yoga pose and for good reason--it is so effective in correcting our posture. Try it now. You will instantly feel your shoulders moving back and your chest opening. I like to call this the 'meditation movement.'
I have been practicing the meditation movement for the past few weeks and it is definitely helping my posture and increasing my awareness of how I sit and do everyday things. I was doing squats a few days ago, and I felt that my posture needed improvement. I turned my palms up and voilà. It instantly felt better.
When practicing the meditation movement, it's not always necessary to keep our hands open, so we can be more discreet in our practice when doing outside activities :) Just ensure that your wrists and forearms are turned upwards and you will still get the same benefits.
It is also not necessary to bend your elbows. It is still effective with slight bent or straight arms. I was completely amazed when I realized this!
We can practice this movement while doing most things that don't require the constant use of our hands. We can practice when taking breaks at our desk, sitting in traffic, travelling, walking and even running! We don't need to do it continuously while running, but if we occasionally turn our palms up while running, it ensures that our shoulders are back and chest is open. It's a great reminder of how good posture feels.
The meditation movement works so well because it aids the functioning of the meridian systems. There are three meridians that run along the arm from the chest to the palm. These are: the Heart, the Pericardium and the Lung Meridians. These meridians help perform many of our intrinsic bodily functions such as breathing, cardiac function, blood circulation, sleep, emotional balance, immune functions, perspiration, body temperature regulation, and more. Turning our palms up allow these meridians to flow freely and perform their functions efficiently.
Allowing these meridians to stretch and flow regularly will lead to a healthier body that functions and moves easier in proper alignment.
In addition to those mentioned above, maintaining good posture has numerous other physical, mental, and even social benefits. Here are some of the key advantages of having good posture:
Many of us have desk jobs or jobs that require us to sit for hours every day. Sitting for long periods of time can lead to the development of a poor posture with muscle tightness and various body asymmetries. This unhealthy posture can lead to aches and pains in the neck, shoulders, lower back, and other areas.
If you feel your posture has deteriorated due to sitting too much, the following video from Jeremy Ethier can help. To help reverse the adverse effects of sitting too much, he quickly demonstrates in the video two easy and effective 5-minute corrective routines.
How is your posture? For me personally, having a straight back is essential to my well-being as it affects more than just my physical health. It affect my whole mood. When my posture feels good, I feel more confident and energetic, and I like that :)
For runners, the decision to improve our posture is crucial, and the meditation movement is a quick and easy way to start. It's a simple yet powerful practice that we can start right now that can yield substantial improvements in our posture and our health. Also, prioritizing the improvement of your running form and posture is a significant step towards enhanced running performance, injury prevention, better breathing, and increased focus. Start working on your posture today and notice the positive effects it has on your running experience.
So how about you? Have you tried the meditation movement? Please share your comments below.