Are you a shuffler? Shuffling is when we barely lift the feet off the floor and can sometimes
even sound like a shuffle. This isn’t the best technique for running as you are
predominantly using your calf muscles, smaller muscles to take the load of running.

The muscles we should be using are our bigger muscles which were designed for running:
the glutes (buttock muscles) and hamstrings. If we aren’t picking up our feet enough and
flexing our knees behind us then we are not engaging these muscles. This leads to
potential injuries of the lower limb due to overuse of the calf muscles. (Shin splints, knee
pain, calf tightness, calf strain, achilles problems etc).

So today when you run, think about lifting your heels a little higher. Even when running
slowly just focus on lifting them a little higher than usual. Always best to start with a small
increase as big changes will also take the body a while to adjust to. If you’d have seen me
before coaching correct tech and applying to myself you wouldn’t believe the change! And
with that I have less pain. I can also control niggly areas by understanding how to adjust
technique. (Tiredness nearly always results in an altered technique).

Just give this a go and see how it feels, getting the glutes and hamstrings working, if you
are a shuffler this will help your running.

Optimising your posture when running will prevent lower back pain, upper back and
shoulder pain, and will enable you to utilise those all important glutes when running so
improving your efficiency.


– Head up: hold your head up high, do not look down
– Look in the direction you are heading which will help you glide along
– Lift your chest up to open your shoulder, allow your arms to swing and prevent stooped upper back
– Engage core by drawing in tummy and tucking your pelvis under so your back isn’t
arching or in anterior tilt. This can put extra load and tension on your lower back causing
aches and pain

I recommend thinking about one thing at a time for 10 seconds. Persevere and practice
your posture over 10 seconds bursts of running to find a natural form that works for you.
You will find that you will drop in and out of these posture positions until you are used to
them and they become more continuous and second nature. Practice makes perfect!

If you find it difficult to hold these positions remember:
1. It will take practice to learn a new
technique and
2. You may need to do some stretching to ease restrictions or some
strength for weaker areas.


Note from Laura:

If you feel pain or need some additional advice contact Flexology
(info@flexologystudio.com) and I can further assess your run or provide any online
mobility/injury preventing advice. If you send me some videos I would be happy to analyse
with a running assessment.

Join Laura’s Runner’s Stretch and Strength sessions every Sunday at 10am.


Virtual Classes

Follow @flexologystudio to keep up-to-date with our live Q&As, live classes and workshops.

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