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Back to Basics: Proper Jogging and Running Techniques

by On Sep 5, 2015
Back to Basics: Proper Jogging and Running Techniques

Jogging and running are aerobic exercises that give the body positive health benefits such as weight loss and decreasing blood pressure levels. Both are beneficial but require different body techniques. Running needs more speed and power and is more intense. On the other hand, jogging has a slower pace and involves more muscle use. These two exercises differ in several aspects.

History

Jogging was not discovered at any particular time. One of the first mentions of jogging was when William Shakespeare wrote about it in his book, “The Taming of the Shrew.” A line in the book mentioned the word jogging, but it was speaking about leaving and not the exercise itself. The exercise was not recorded until the mid 17th century in England, and it became popular in the United States as a training exercise for athletes. Jogging has now evolved into an exercise to lose weight.

On the other hand, running has long been a common activity even among our earliest ancestors. It is an activity that naturally occurred as a form of traveling at a fast pace. Ancestors ran for hunting food and protection.

Definition and Intensity

Almost anyone can jog. Jogging can be performed at any pace depending on the person's desired results. It can also be done at a leisurely pace that is only a little faster than walking.

Running is the more intense version of jogging. Running requires more speed and body tolerance as it can tire the person and use up oxygen quickly. It is the fastest activity that people can perform with their feet.

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Health Benefits

Jogging is usually performed for mild health benefits. Joggers can lose weight and strengthen their heart muscles with this exercise. This activity is recommended for those who can perform exercise faster than walking but are not able to run. Jogging is also facilitates social interaction and serves as a prerequisite to running.

Running also has all the health benefits that a person can achieve from jogging. This exercise will also help the person lose weight and increase heart muscle tone and strength. However, running is a good form of cardiovascular exercise. It also strengthens the muscles and bones while lowering blood pressure. This exercise is commonly done by people who prepare for big races or competitions.

Both jogging and running have their own health benefits and advantages. However, there are also other factors that can affect the person's speed, power and energy. Jogging is best done in the morning because the pace is slower and it does not require much energy and effort on the person's body. On the other hand, running should be done in the evening or during a workout session at the gym as it uses up most of a person's energy and strength. The following are techniques that can help a person jog and run better with little to no negative effects on the body.

Footwork

There is a proper cycle for the feet when jogging or running. The ball and the toes should not be parallel when hitting the ground. The ball should touch the ground lightly first while the toes point downward. Only these areas and not the whole foot should touch the ground. The foot should then move in a constant graceful rhythm.

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Proper Body Posture

The pace, power, energy and results that a person can get from jogging and running will depend on the body posture. Incorrect posture while doing these exercises can lead to muscle strain and pain. It can also use up energy faster and leave a person more tired in the end. Each body part is vital in achieving proper body posture while jogging and running.

Back to Basics: Proper Jogging and Running Techniques

Photo Credit: 123RF

Head

The head is an important body part when jogging or running. It can be heavy and drag a person down when proper posture is not achieved. The body including the head should be relaxed and erect. The head should face straight forward and not down as this will make it heavier with gravity.

Shoulders

The shoulders should be relaxed and properly stretched before jogging or running. These should be loose so as not to drain energy fast. The shoulders should not feel any tension while running to avoid unnecessary muscle pain and stiffness after the exercise.

Torso

Correct posture in the torso will help in maximizing breathing techniques. This body area is responsible for keeping the whole body properly stretched and aligned while in motion. Less torso rotation can also increase the person's speed and use less energy.

Hips

The hips should be properly positioned to avoid lower back pain. This body area is near the centre of gravity so it is essential in keeping the whole body straight with less drag. A properly aligned head and torso will also result in the proper hip posture.

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Legs

The legs are the most important body area when running or jogging. Lifting the knees too high will make the pace slower while keeping them low will make it faster and smoother. The legs are heavy and will require a lot of energy to lift so quicker leg work will be less strenuous.

Back to Basics: Proper Jogging and Running Techniques

Photo Credit: 123RF

Ankles

The speed and power of the exercise mostly depends on the technique used in the ankles. Maximum power in every stride is achieved when the ankles are properly positioned. Ankle rotation should be avoided so as not to strain them.

Arms

Arms can either add to the speed or drag the body down. These should swing forward and back at the side to decrease body torso rotation. The elbows should be bent 90 degrees with minimal movement in the upper arms.

Conclusion

Do you think having the correct running technique is important or is it not necessary as long as you are comfortable with how you run? Discuss your thoughts with us and let us know which technique works for you best.

Aidan is the Editor-in-chief of RunSociety. His focus is to oversee RunSociety’s Creativity Channel, spanning a wide range of inspirational and enriching topics daily to the running community. Get in touch with him if you something to say, or want to weigh in on an interesting topic at hello@runsociety.com.

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