Good Running Form and Technique: Just think TALL

Good Running Form and Technique: Just think TALL

Dr. Romana Schmidt, DC

Here are two videos demonstrating some techniques to warm up before your run. A proper warm up can help to prevent injuries.

Running, whether it is competitive or just for fun, is a popular sport and an affordable and efficient way to add fitness into your life. It is an important aspect of many sports such as basketball, football, soccer, and tennis, but for some, they only run and it is a passion and a way of life. Many people enjoy the occasional 5km run for cardiovascular health and exercise or they have future goals of running a half or a full marathon. Whether you run for good health, exercise fitness or competitively, running is REPETITIVE!

Without proper running form and technique, small errors add up over time, day after day, that can lead to painful injuries. This is usually due to poor running technique, muscle imbalances or weaknesses.

Common Running Injuries seen in practice:

●      Repetitive Strain Injuries

●      Iliotibial Band Syndrome (knee pain)

●      Shin Splints (Pre-stress fracture)

●      Hip pain

●      Low back pain

To help combat and prevent these injuries from developing, it is important to incorporate a conditioning program into your routine as well as to practice good and proper running form to help reduce the strain transmitted throughout the tissue. Regular evaluations and treatments from a Chiropractor will also help to prevent and alleviate this accumulated repetitive trauma and help to correct any muscle imbalances that are developing. 

Guidance on Proper Running Form:

●      RUN TALL - most important thing to remember - run with your head over your shoulders, shoulders balanced over hips - avoid slouching and leaning forward!!!

●      RUN RELAXED - avoid being stiff, relaxed face, loose jaw, relaxed shoulders

●      Light foot contact - avoid being heavy and loud footed, light footwear can help

●      Ankle dorsiflexion - make sure you have good ankle range of motion - this will allow your foot to clear the ground

●      Arms swinging forward - avoid crossing your arms in front of your body

●      Practice running form during warm up and cool down

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   Ankle Dorsiflexion

Ankle Dorsiflexion

A few exercises to incorporate into your conditioning program:

1)    Leg swings

2)    Butt kicks

3)    Seated prayer moving forward

4)    Knee highs

5)    One-legged or double-legged hurdle hops

6)    Eccentric abdominal training with a theraband

How a Chiropractor can help to improve your running form and technique:

●      Chiropractors can help by evaluating your posture and biomechanical gait to detect any malalignments

●      Evaluate and correct your running form by watching a taped video of you running

●      Detect accumulated repetitive trauma in the body

●      Provide treatment for injuries that are developing such as spinal manipulative therapy, soft tissue techniques, and therapeutic taping

●      Develop a conditioning program specific to you


Dr. Romana Schmidt is a chiropractor in Ottawa, Canada. You can read more about Dr. Romana on her profile page, or on her website

Ankle Dorsiflexion image: By Osteomyoamare (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons