If you want good running tips, I encourage all runners to check out Pose Running and Chi Running because they were a great learning resource for me that helped me tackle transitioning from heel strike to forefoot running easier.
Good Running Tips on Leg Swing
Pose Running recommends quick removal of the foot from the ground by lifting the ankle of the support leg vertically with neither forward or backward direction.
- The net result is a compact leg swing –leg swing activity is under the hips because the foot is brought up directly under the hips.
However, this type of leg swing is not seen in Ethiopian distance runners. They actually swing their legs similar to Chi Runnings’ recommendation of leg swing mechanics.
Chi Running recommends having “circular feet with wheels at the end of your legs” which is probably the most accurate description of how most Ethiopian runners swing their legs when they run.
- For instance, if you watch closely and follow the flight path of Dibaba’s heel, you will notice that her heel traces an imaginary line, outlining the shape of a circle positioned behind her body.
This is in contrast to Pose’s recommended leg swing in which the feet pop up and down in a vertical line, no circular motions.
- According to Danny Dreyer of Chi Running “you want to create a motion more like circles with your feet. Pretend you have wheels instead of lower legs and you’ll be just fine.”
For me, I followed Chi Running to improve my leg swing mechanics. I find it feels more natural to let my leg swing more rearward, whereas with Pose, I was intentionally restricting my leg swing and found it harder to relax. “If your legs are relaxed and limp, you will never have to worry about common lower leg injuries like shin splints, Achilles tendonosis, metatarsal stress fractures, or calf pulls and when your legs are passive, it allows the recoil motion of your tendons to swing your leg for you”, Dreyer reported.
More From Run Forefoot:
- More Forefoot Running Tips
- Flat, Minimalist Footwear Prevents Falls in Older Runners
- Why Young Runners Get Ankle Injuries
- Runners Overpronate Less When Barefoot
- Best Shoes for Forefoot Running
Dreyer, D. (2012) Chi Marathon. New York, NY: First Touchdown.
Romanov, N. (2002). Pose Method of Running. Coral Gables, FL: PoseTech Press.
BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.