Last week I made the decision to take a ChiRunning class after seeing a few race photos. It looked like my arms and shoulders were probably slowing me down instead helping me to run faster. I learned many things during the class on Saturday, but the component that I am focusing the most on right now is arm swing. Arm swing is important and it can either help you or hurt you. In some of my photos, I look like I’m ready to elbow you or do the chicken dance. In other words, my elbows are going out and not back. Perhaps one of the biggest lessons I learned on Saturday is to focus on on your elbows going straight back, not out, and not twisting.
Here is what Danny Dreyer has to say about arm swing:
“Having a relaxed and efficient armswing can have a huge effect on the smoothness of your gait which translates into increasing your economy of motion which will reduce the workload of your legs. When I talk about efficiency, it means that you can either run faster, or farther, or require less recovery time…with a lower perceived effort level during your runs. And, you can feel all this with a more effective arm swing.”
Want to learn how to improve your arm swing? Check out these tips here. Just by focusing more on my elbows going back, I can already tell a little soreness in my body but my running feels a lot easier. This was the best video I could find demonstrating the technique.
Check out all the different arms from the race a few weeks ago:
I’m beginning to think that running form should be a class taught in PE.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,