Running Form 101

Proper running form can help improve your overall efficiency and reduce your risk for injury. We’ve all seen awkward running forms—you can’t help but wince because it looks challenging and sometimes painful to run that way. Following a few simple reminders can keep you injury-free as you reach peak performance.

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Running form 101

Improve efficiency and reduce your risk for injury

Head

  • Keep your head upright and in line with shoulders.
  • Look slightly down and ahead.
  • Relax your jaw.

Arms/Hands

  • Bend your arms at about 90 degrees.
  • Don’t cross or swing arms in front of your chest.
  • Relax your hands (imagine holding a penny between your thumb and forefinger).

Torso

  • Lean (fall) slightly forward; don’t slouch!
  • Keep your chest up and shoulders straight.

Feet

  • Don’t over stride; your foot should land under or slightly in front of hips.
  • Land on your mid-foot to forefoot, that is, from the arch to the ball of your foot.
  • Keep your cadence at about 170 to 190 steps per minute.

CHAMP (Consortium for Health and Military Performance) and HPRC (Human Performance Resource Center) logos.