5 injury-preventing running cues you should note

“Running is a privilege. Those that can run should run, because those that cannot want nothing more than to take their place.”

Danny Dreyer – Chi Running

Running has quickly become my meditation and exercise of choice. From physical benefit to mental-health benefits, the science of running speaks for itself.

“Running is meant to be enjoyed, not endured.”

Danny Dreyer – Chi Marathon Running

Most of us don’t know how to run properly! It’s something we’ve learned through imitation, but without the appropriate cues that correct the biggest form misalignments, running can be excruciatingly painful and unpleasant. Thank goodness for books like CHI running, here are 5 cues to help you run while preventing running injuries by Dany Dreyer.

  1. Be like a Giraffe

“Lengthen the back of your neck and lead with your forehead”

Danny Dreyer – Chi Marathon Running

This will ensure that you don’t bemd at the waist as you lean forward because that compromises your spine, and adds stress to your lower back, knees and quads. The key to stretching the back of your neck properly is to picture yourself like a puppet with a string at the middle top of your head…. now pull that string and hold it there. This small seemingly mundane change is anything BUT and makes a huge difference in how your feel after your run.

Many runners don’t really know how to use their upper body when running.

Danny Dreyer – Chi Marathon Running

2. Relax your shoulders

My masseuse playfully calls it “Shoulder Muffs” when your shoulders tense up, making your neck disappear due to stress. So many people hold their stress in their upper spine, and looking down at our phones for hours doesn’t help our case either. A good way to remember this while running is to give your shoulders a shake every once in a while to loosen them up. This is also a great opportunity to do the same with your arms and hands. Running should be relaxing, let go of that unnecessary tension and allow your body to relax into the movement.

Also, be mindful of the direction you’re looking, keep your head forward towards the motion.

3. Align your posture

Think of this:

Head over neck, shoulders over hips, hips over feet.

4. Run like Shakira dances

Move your hips! The natural motion of your hips while running exists for a very good reason. However for some reason, many of us prevent them from moving. Let your hips go! Let them do their thing, they are protecting your precious back and releaving stress to your knees by cushioning your impact.

5. Knees back not up!

Focus more on kicking your feet up behind you than anything else. In order to kick back you have to focus on keeping your knees down.

THIS was a game-changer for me. I’m not sure why, but somewhere along my journey, I learned to run with my knees. When doing a proper squat, one must be mindful and never let the knees pass the toes, same goes for running! That impact point, when your feet hit the ground goes from safe to potentially dangerous and injury provoking when your knees take the lead instead of your hips.

Hips engaged, kick your feet up, knees stay down.

There you have it!

If you’ve been avoiding running because of being prone to injury, I highly recommend that you pick up this book.

As far as CHI goes, some refer to that as “runners high” or a state of “flow”. I’ve never ran this much in my LIFE, without injury, or worry about injury.

I’m enjoying running more than I ever have in my life!

I’m grateful for this gem of a book, and if it helps even ONE person prevent injury and enjoy running, I’ve accomplished my mission.

Thanks for reading.

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