Run with incorrect posture and you will run no more
to “Runners World” running participation has grown more than 70% in the last decade. We often view running only from the health benefits that can be attributed, but we often don’t look as closely to the consequences of running with incorrect posture. Running injuries, caused through poor posture and poor shoe choice, can lead to a reduction of training or training cessation in about 90% of all injuries. About 45% of all injuries lead to medical consultation or medical treatment. In 75% of these cases running injuries are due to constant repetition with incorrect positioning or posture.
Your misaligned pelvis can be causing your injuries.
During running the body is transferring balance from one leg to the other in a repetitive frequency. We often take this for granted that we can do this without focusing closely on the process. As we transfer our weight from one leg to the other the muscles of the body are contracting or relaxing to allow this motion. For faster motion the process must contract and relax faster with greater forces. When the body develops postural distortion patterns the ability for the muscles to function correctly are limited. When the position of the pelvis is unbalanced or aligned improperly these muscles must compensate for these changes.
Another common mishap from postural distortion patterns of the pelvis is a decrease in stability of the whole kinetic chain, which affects foot and ankle function. Instability of the ankle results in rolled/sprained ankles and increase of stress on the feet resulting in plantar fasciitis, which is one of the most common reasons preventing runners from training.
In many cases this pelvic postural distortion pattern has developed over time from incorrect posture during running, but can also be contributed to past traumas or even over training. Furthermore sitting for long periods of time with incorrect posture causes postural distortion patterns of the spine and pelvis, and decreasing core utilisation, which increase the likely hood of this problem
Check your leg length
An easy way to check if you are suffering from a postural distortion pattern of the pelvis is to check your leg length. Remove your shoes, lay face down on a flat surface, and have someone look at your heels. If one foot is shorter/longer than the other it means you most likely have some degree of postural distortion.
4 Tips to improve your running
- Become aware of your posture
While running focus on maintaining an upright posture. Use both sides of the body equally and correctly and focus on using your gluteal muscles (buttock).
- Use your core/gluts
When running keep your core and gluteal muscles activated, rather than leaning forward.
- Strengthen your Gluts
Gluteal weakness is the most common cause of lower back pain and poor pelvic posture. Weakness of the Gluts can lead to muscle spasm of the hamstrings and lower back muscles.
- Stand on one leg
Stand on one leg in front of a mirror so that you can see your hips/pelvis. Concentrate on making your pelvis level while standing on one leg, this will strengthen the weak side and help stabilize the muscles of the pelvis. Perform this exercise with both legs. This will take practice. Do this as often as possible.
To find out if you have a problem, contact the Hillcrest Spinal Centre for an expert postural and muscle evaluation.
Written and Modified By:
Dr. Mark Wade and Dr. Sarah Nelson
Hillcrest Spinal Centre
Certified Posture Expert
- Sato, K., & Mokha, M. (2009). DOES CORE STRENGTH TRAINING INFLUENCE RUNNING KINETICS, LOWER-EXTREMITY STABILITY, AND 5000-M PERFORMANCE IN RUNNERS? Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23(1), 133-40. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/213041059?accountid=27965
- Running injuries. A review of the epidemiological literature. van Mechelen W. Sports Med. 1992 Nov;14(5):320-35.