One of the most common questions new runners have is, “What does proper running form look like?” The Pose Method of Running could be just what you’ve been looking for!
Beginner runners are often somewhat self-conscious about their running form or very much in their head while they run, thinking about how they’re swinging their arms, leaning their trunk, how long their stride is, what cadence or stride rate they have, etc.
However, in general, concerns and mental energy going into thinking about running form and technique starts to go away the longer you’ve been running such that most experienced runners put little to no thought into their form as they run.
An injury may have even the most veteran runner questioning their running form and considering ways to improve it, and just a quick search into proper running form is likely to mention the Pose Method of Running.
Can the Pose Method of Running improve your running technique and help you run faster, longer, or more safely in terms of reducing the risk of injury? In this guide, we will explain the Pose Method of Running, benefits of the Pose Method of Running, and how to do the Pose Method of Running.
So, whether you’re a beginner runner hoping to get off on the right foot so to speak when it comes to running form, or you’re an experienced runner looking to improve your running economy or reduce the risk of overuse injuries, keep reading to learn all about how the Pose Method of Running may help you.
In this guide, we will cover:
- What Is the Pose Method of Running?
- How to Do the Pose Method of Running
- 3 Potential Benefits of the Pose Method of Running
Let’s dive in!
What Is the Pose Method of Running?
Even if you’ve been running for more years than you can count at this point, there’s a good chance you haven’t heard of the Pose Method of Running unless you’ve specifically looked into running form or technique.With that said, the Pose Method of Running is far from a new concept.
Developed in 1977 by Soviet sports scientist, Dr. Nicholas Romanov, and introduced on a global scale to runners in 1993, the Pose Method of Running refers to a movement technique, called the Pose Method, which involves holding or cycling the body through specific body postures, or “poses’ ‘ for different physical activities or movements.
The Pose Method of Running specifically refers to a technique of the poses for running, and was the first of the types of activities Dr. Romanov focused on with his Pose Method.
The Pose Method since has been applied to other sports such as cycling, rowing, and triathlon.
Dr. Romanov believed that these poses would reduce the risk of running injuries, in much the same way that using proper form and utilizing correct technique when you squat or hold a plank can minimize your risk of injury.
How to Do the Pose Method of Running
While certain sports described under the Pose Method have numerous poses, the Pose Method of Running only has one actual pose—aptly named the Running Pose.
With that said, the overall Pose Running technique has three phases or portions.
The phases of the Pose Method of Running include the Running Pose, the fall, and the pull, which are all seamlessly integrated together in cyclical fashion to create a smooth, efficient running form.
Let’s look at the specific running mechanics in the Pose Method of Running.
The Running Pose begins by positioning your body in what is said to be likened to the letter “S” when viewed from the side. Note that this is a letter “S” with very gentle curves rather than sharp, drastic directional changes as seen in the real letter.
In the Running Pose, your trunk is leaning slightly forward as you get ready to take the next step.
Your shoulders, hips, and ankles should be stacked in a vertical line of support.
When you land, you are weight bearing on one leg, and should be balancing on the ball of your foot on that leg.
Your other leg is bent and held up under your hip.
The key to the “S” shape of the pose is indeed that forward lean, which can feel really unnatural, unbalanced, and unsteady for runners when they start trying the Pose Method of Running.
In Pose Method of Running, after assuming the Running Pose, which again involves vertically aligning your shoulders, hips, and ankles while weight bearing on the ball of your supporting foot, you “fall” forward by allowing gravity to act on your forward-leaning body.
While you fall forward, your other foot drops down naturally and lands under your center of mass on the ball of the foot.
As you go through the fall portion of the Pose Method of Running, you essentially switch from performing the Running Pose on one leg to performing it on the other leg.
The pull portion of Pose Running improves your running efficiency relative to running with a more standard running technique.
Most runners tend to heel strike, which means they land on the heel or rear foot portion of the foot before transitioning to the midfoot and then forefoot for push off.
However, if you think about the goal of running, heel striking doesn’t make much sense. We want to be moving forward as efficiently as possible, but heel striking puts your weight behind your foot, essentially acting as a braking force that reduces forward momentum.
As a result, it takes more energy to propel yourself forward because you’ve wasted energy by landing with your center of mass behind your foot and your heel serving as a means of hitting the “brakes” on your forward velocity.
In the Pose Method of Running, you land on your forefoot in the Running Pose.
This, coupled with the forward lean yields a “fall sensation”. After the fall sensation; you “pull” your leg up under your hip rather than pushing your leg forward as with traditional running mechanics.
Put together, the Pose Method of Running involves smoothly passing through the Running Pose, the fall forward, and then the pull of the foot off the ground for the next stride.
3 Potential Benefits of the Pose Method of Running
The following are cited to be potential benefits of using the Pose Method of Running:
#1: Pose Method of Running May Improve Your Running Efficiency and Running Economy
The Pose Method of Running is designed to maximize forward movement while minimizing energy use, ultimately increasing your running efficiency and making running feel easier.
The Running Pose itself is a body posture that’s high in potential energy (think physics class!) due to the forward lean.
The fall portion is thought to improve your running economy or reduce the energy requirement of running because you’re allowing gravity to do work and freely drop your next leg down rather than needing to use your muscles to lift and extend your leg against the force of gravity.
There’s also less vertical oscillation or up-and-down bouncing with this running technique compared to how most runners naturally run. Minimizing vertical oscillation reduces a source of wasted energy, which again improves your efficiency and running economy.
The pull portion of the Pose Method of Running increases your efficiency by creating more forward momentum rather than causing you to hit the brakes in your running stride.
#2: The Pose Method of Running May Help You Run Faster
The Pose Method of Running may improve running performance, allowing you to run faster.
By harnessing the force of gravity to make it “easier” to run, and eliminating or minimizing sources of wasted energy and forward velocity, Dr. Romanov says the Pose Method of Running can help you run faster.
#3: The Pose Method of Running May Reduce the Risk of Injuries
There is some evidence to suggest that the Pose Method of Running may reduce the risk of injury relative to the normal heel-to-toe running stride.
The Pose Method of Running is said to reduce the risk of injury because it helps you shorten your stride and increase your cadence.
You have to keep your stride shorter to land on your forefoot and perform the Running Pose, fall, and pull.
Studies have found that increasing your cadence and shortening your stride reduces the risk of injury because your feet remain more directly under your center of mass, reducing the impact forces and resultant stresses placed on your bones, joints, muscles, and connective tissues.
Indeed, a study that compared the biomechanical differences between running with the Pose Method versus natural heel-toe running found that the Pose Running technique effectively shortened stride length, reduced vertical oscillation, and reduced eccentric loading of the knee joint, all of which may reduce the risk of injury.
Have you tried the Pose Method of Running? Tell us how it changed your experience as a runner!
Let’s get that running form spiffed up with tips and tricks to run your best and help avoid injury with our Proper Running Form guide.