Proper running form should involve using the least amount of energy while placing the least amount of strain on your body. If you have a tendency to bounce or push your body too high off the ground as you run, you may be using too much energy and your feet may be absorbing excess force with each footstrike. This can tire your thigh muscles or quadriceps more quickly, cutting your running session short. Several simple corrections can help to minimize bounce in your running stride. By using less energy, you may find yourself less winded after a running session or able to run longer as a result. Always speak to your physician, however, before beginning an exercise routine to ensure you are in good enough health to begin.
Strike the ground with your heels instead of the balls of your feet, which can cause bouncing. However, if your body feels more natural striking the balls of your feet first, you can alter other aspects of your stride to achieve less bounce.
Focus on landing each foot strike with the foot almost directly below your knees instead of having your foot land before your knee, recommends Bobby McGee, a biomechanist based in Boulder, Colorado, interviewed in вЂњRunner's WorldвЂќ magazine. Landing with your foot before you knee requires your quadriceps to work harder and you must push off with more force, which causes you to bounce. By focusing on keeping your feet under your knees, you will likely bounce less.
Shorten your running stride slightly. Reaching your feet forward for bigger running strides may seem to cover more ground, but it also increases bounce and requires more energy. One way to ensure you are taking enough short strides is to count how many times your right foot hits the ground in one minute of running. McGee recommends you take more than 90 right-foot steps per minute to keep your running stride the right length.
Imagine with each running step that you are running on an area that has a low ceiling resting just inches above your head. If you bounce too much, imagine you will hit your head on the ceiling. This visualization technique can help to minimize bounce.
Run with your arms at 90-degree angles throughout your entire running swing. If you are bending and straightening your arms throughout your running motion, this can encourage upward or bouncing movements during your running stride. Your arms should not swing higher than your shoulders. The lower you swing them, the less bounce you are likely to have.