Increased strength and better posture equal a better running performance.

Strength > Posture > Running form > Energy expenditure = Performance.

There it is.  Everything you need to know about becoming a better runner and setting a PR on April 30th! If only life were that simple. And running was that easy.

So, let’s unpack a few things and explain all the hard work that goes behind those simple arrows in our equation.  This is where the magic lies.

Strength training has mad value. Yes, even to aerobic endurance athletes like runners and cyclists.

Better strength comes from being able to use the right muscles for certain exercises. That’s why one of the most important qualities of strength training is the improved ability to isolate and fully engage certain muscles and muscle groupings.  For instance, being able to anteriorly or posteriorly tilt our pelvis and the accompanying muscles.  To actively pivot and maintain this position can make all the difference in which muscles are doing the work, and consequently which muscles are fatiguing during our prolonged exercise activity. It’s one of the most important exercises we do at Smart Strength:

Bad posture equals a bad running form.

Our posture is the framework for which our running form is created.  I have rarely seen someone who demonstrates poor posture and body control but can whip up an amazing running form when they hit the starting line.

Strength training is an effective tool at slowly changing someone’s posture.  With increased strength and body awareness, people then have the tools to self-correct and practice better posture daily.

Increased strength and better posture allow a person to train/ run with a “stronger” form.  I advocate that there is no “perfect” running posture, but there are qualities that are heavily associated with better running performance, less fatigue, and are much more resilient to injury.

I think most of us would acknowledge that a bad running form will have negative effects on our overall running performance.  But I do not think many realize just how much impact form has on performance.  Consider the double negative effect of a sloppy or loose running form — it detracts energy, oxygen, and blood flow away from essential muscles and instead diverts these resources to muscles that counteract our desired movement.  Ouch!

Not to mention how repetitive, constant stress on structures and tissues that are not anatomically designed for that will often lead to an injury… a catastrophic blow to your running performance. In a nutshell: Bad running form>decreased performance>increased risk of injury.


About the Author

Alex has been involved in fitness all his life. He received his bachelor’s degree from Albion College in Exercise Science and a master’s degree from Michigan State University in Exercise Physiology. His experience includes stops at Spartan Performance, Coval Fitness & Sports Performance, and Golf & Body NYC, and he has taught Anatomy & Physiology at Montcalm Community College. Alex now brings this balanced approach to fitness to his own company: Smart Strength. A name he chose because of his intelligent and holistic approach to fitness. Alex carries certifications through the NSCA (certified strength & conditioning coach), TPI (Level 1 fitness), and American Red Cross.

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