Every runner has been through this, and most of us have tried more styles than Tiger Woods has swings, but seriously…what the heck do I do with my hands when I am running?
Lets get something straight from the start, when we are on our long run or are racing, wasted energy is just pure evil. With that, being relaxed up top while running is the name of the game. There should be no clinched fists, shoulders floating up around your ears, violent rotation from side to side or veins popping out of your face and neck like you are trying to pass a block of cheese. Everything above your waist should be relaxed and fluid…like a breeze blowing through a meadow (I don’t know…it sounds relaxing, just go with it).
If you find you are always having side stitches, cramps in you upper back, headaches, numbness in your hands and fingers or are just uncomfortable when you run, here are a few easy tips for your next run. Try them out, you really have nothing to lose.
Step 1: Shoulders down and back, head up with ears over shoulders looking ahead. Until you get this, your arm swing is lost and so is a ton of energy.
Step 2: Keep your elbows bent somewhere between 45–90 degrees. As you run, work on lightly driving your elbows back, letting gravity bring them back forward.
Step 3: Keep those hands loose. Pretend you are holding something delicate in your hands (a flower, really small animal, whatever) and the last thing you want to do is squeeze it too tight.
Step 4: About every 100–200 steps, shake your arms and hands out. Allow your shoulders to relax if they went back up to visit your ears, pick your eyes up from the ground, reset and push forward.
Finding what works for you, as I have outlined what works for me, can allow you to run more comfortable….allowing you to run further and faster!
Dr. Reheisse is a Board Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician practicing in Cottonwood Heights Utah. Revive Sport & Spine provides evidence-supported chiropractic care and conservative sports injury management.