Perfect Running Form Checklist and Tips | STACK Fitness
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Perfect Running Form Checklist and Tips

February 6, 2013 | Raymond Tucker

Must See Running Videos

No matter how fast you are, running in perfect form is the only way your body will be able to achieve top speeds. Run efficiently without wasting energy and prevent serious injury with the following checklist. (See also Master the Four Points of Good Running Form.)

Keys to Perfect Running Form

  • Keep your head in line with your spine
  • Do not sway from side to side or move forward and backward
  • Keep your eyes focused straight ahead
  • Relax your jaw and neck
  • Shoulders stay down and relaxed. Shrugging the shoulders will lock the hips and cause you to slow down
  • Your arm movement should come from the shoulder joint with your arm in a closed position in the front. Your  back arm should be in an open position with an L shape, as if you were reaching for your wallet
  • Fingers should be extended
  • Inhale and bring your belly button into your spine. This will tilt your pelvis in the forward position to support the spine and activate the core. Pretend like someone punched you in the stomach
  • Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Now raise your heels slightly. Keep your body in this tight upright position
  • Bring up one knee. Make sure your toe is up in your shoe. Your back leg should be extended and not bent. From the knee-up position, extend the leg at the knee, bring your leg under your hip and bring up your other knee. Keep your ankle cocked at ground contact, and start recovery mechanics by bring your heel to your glutes. Repeat the cycle. (See another Sprinting Form Checklist.)

Remember running and sprinting are like riding a bike in that the leg action is cyclical. I recommend spending time every day working on the correct posture before running or sprinting. To get the most out of your running form, I recommend you master a short distance before increasing your distance.

Raymond Tucker
- Raymond Tucker, CSCS, a Level 1 Track Coach certified by the United States Track and Field Association and Level 1 FMS certified by Functional Movement...
Raymond Tucker
- Raymond Tucker, CSCS, a Level 1 Track Coach certified by the United States Track and Field Association and Level 1 FMS certified by Functional Movement...
Must See
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,550,335
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,167,357
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,159

Featured Videos

James Harden on Becoming a Franchise Player Views: 72,181
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 28,813
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 574,246
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,880,088
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,359,483
Colby Lewis's Four-Seam Fastball Technique
Views: 5,011,383
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,789,434
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,880,088

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

You're Doing It Wrong: Running

Dear runners,I've got something to tell you, it may not be easy to hear, but you've been doing it wrong this whole time. Now, I'm probably going to make...

6 5K Tips for a Great Running Experience

8-Week Spartan Beast Training Program

Tired of Tiring During Runs? Try These Jogging Pace Drills

Hunter McIntyre Rises Above the Competition

Be Ready to Run a 5K in 6-8 Weeks

Off-Season Triathlon Training Tips and Workout Program

How to Control Your Breathing During an Obstacle Race

The Exercise Every Runner Must Do

Foolproof 20-Week Marathon Training Schedule

Are You Ready for the Arctic Enema?

How to Design a Running Schedule That Fits Your Life

The Most Effective Form of Endurance Training

An Introduction to Strength Training for Runners

7 Endurance Tips From Ultramarathon Runner Ian Sharman

Weight Training for Runners: 3 Full-Body Moves

STACK Challenge: Army Two-Mile Run

How to Start Your Barefoot Leg Workout

4 Biggest 5K Training Mistakes

The Obstacle Course Racer's Guide to Fixing Muscle Cramps

Maximize Your Trail Running

How to Prepare for the Spartan Race and Other Mud Runs

The Only 2 Running Diet Rules You Need to Know

Training for Mud Runs, Part 4: Long Trail Runs

Runners: Don't Overlook These 2 Types of Training

The Nature and Nurture of Running for Fitness

8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Ran My First Marathon

7 Tips to Help First-Time Marathoners Avoid Common Mistakes

4 Running Form Fixes for Beginners

7-Year Old Triathlete Sets 5K Record

Don't Choke on Race Day: Tips to Run a Better Race

Running Away From GI Distress: Symptoms, Causes And Tips

Pick The Right Running Partner (The First Time)

3 Things You Must Do Before Trying Minimalist Running Shoes

5 Keys and A Workout Plan for An Awesome 5K

Learn the Secrets of Tapering

Guide to Common Running Terminology

Ultramarathon Runner Stephanie Howe's 7 Training Secrets

Get Geared Up for the Wall Jump Obstacle

Why Jogging Is Counterproductive

Running Tips for True Beginners

Are You Ready for a Tough Mudder?