When it comes to running technique, it can be easy to over-complicate the matter. On a very primal level, your body knows how to run! However, modern living can often mess these natural movement patterns up for us as 21st-century runners!
In this video, I want to look at how we can all use a natural response called the crossed extensor reflex to improve our running, and tap into the power of our glutes and hamstrings while running.
In the comments of my last video 2-minute running tips video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRkw6Hg4N2Y),
Peter asked whether he should be focusing on driving the knee forwards when running, or concentrating on pushing-off from the hip to improve his running technique.
Today, I want to describe how these two movements are linked when it comes to running form, and how you can improve your push-off by in fact focusing on your knee drive... thanks to the crossed extensor reflex.
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If you're working on improving your running form, focusing on simple tips like increasing your running cadence (steps per minute), and stride length will help you increase your speed and run faster.
Learning not to overstride will help you run more efficiently.
A big part of both of these aspects of running form is your ability to "run from the hips", and use the bigger more powerful muscles around the hip region, particularly your glutes and hamstrings to drive you forward. By driving the knee up and forwards into hip flexion, you'll find you get a stronger drive into hip extension on the standing leg, driving you to push-off harder and cover more ground with each stride.
Hill reps are a great way of teaching your body to drive the knee up and forwards into hip flexion as you run, thus encouraging the crossed extensor reflex to better engage your glutes as you run.
Learn how to engage your glutes when running: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmZ7GJJsYE8
Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com
ABOUT ME: I'm a runner, sports rehabilitation specialist and coach based in the UK (Norwich and London).
Since 2007 I've been working with athletes focusing specifically on helping distance runners and triathletes overcome injury and improve performance through developing their individual running technique.
Running biomechanics has become a geeky little passion of mine!
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