Running Form Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Are you making any common running form mistakes during your workout? Keep reading our article and get all necessary information you have to know.


To any people as well as athletes, running is considered as one of the most common types of sports for beginners as it has no need of any professional and special instructions. There is a universal truth about human beings that we are born to run and know how to run because our bodies are designed to promote the running form.

However, not all of us are capable of accessing a correct form of running naturally. A proper running form cannot come naturally to most of the people, but by applying a trusted guide on the right techniques, we actually can make much more than our nature. Our following article will give you all essential information about common running form mistakes and the ways to avoid them as well.

What is a proper running form?

In fact, we are born to run, but how to run correctly doesn’t naturally come to most of the people. Learning and applying the right techniques, however, can help you access the right way and make you do much more than you are born with. Therefore, how effective you get for your health and your body during a workout depends greatly on whether you are learning to apply a proper running form or not.

A proper running form is an application of all techniques through essential movements which work with nature’ laws of our body. A correct form of running will help to improve our running efficiency by gravity or in other words; it arranges the body movements and position in a straight line. According to professions, a correct from often consists of these following components:

  • Relaxed and comfortable shoulders
  • Straight chest standing up
  • Relaxed fists, not tightened
  • 45-90 degrees of bent elbows
  • Head arranges with hips in a straight line
  • Leaning at the ankles while falling forward
  • Direct feet landing under the body
  • Feet directly up the buttocks
  • Feet put on the ground with gravity
  • 180 or more running cadence

Why should we apply a proper running form?

In fact, running is not just a fast form of walking; it requires more special techniques than you think. Without a right form of running, you not only cannot get effectiveness as running is supposed to be but also easily increase the possible chances of pains and injuries while you are working out. This is why applying the proper running form is a crucial task.

- Improve efficiency

The difference between a right technique and a wrong form of running form mistakes is that it brings more effectiveness. A proper form with professional and correct body movements and position enable the users to gain optimal running economy and power by removing unnecessary movements and wrong body position. As a result, it plays a role in transferring all of the power into propulsion and helps you to receive your purpose and better health as the way it is supposed to be.

- Reduce the chances of pains and injuries

In addition to efficiency, this correct form also contributes greatly to minimizing any possible chances of pains and injuries. You might not know that while you are running, the force your feet strike to the ground is twice larger than your total body weight. With a poor form, this force is possibly multiplied and then causes injuries.

In contrast, a combination of a good running technique and supportive tools such as a well-manufactured pair of running shoes, a comfortable outfit or simply just a supportive sock can help to minimize these forces when your feet are landing on the ground. Consequently, the pressure and stress on your joints, muscles, and bones also reduce, too which leads to eliminating any chances of common pains and injuries associated with running form.

8 common running form mistakes you might not know

Running Form Mistakes and How to Avoid

Now that you have learned about what is a proper running form as well as its importance to all of the runners at any levels. However, understanding the essential role of this technique is not enough, it also requires any runners to gain necessary knowledge about some common running form mistakes associated with running activities.

As mentioned above, we are not born with a good running technique while running is not just a fast style of walking. With individual experiences and knowledge from experts’ suggestions, we carry out a list of 8 common running form mistakes you might not know during workouts together with right ways to fix them as below.

1. Tensed shoulders

While you start to run, tension regularly reveals in the shoulders, and you begin to make your shoulders creep up toward two ears. Therefore, tensed shoulders mistake is one of the most common mistakes most runners make. During a run, especially a long-term run in several hours, this mistake can not only make your whole body uncomfortable but also causes some injuries due to inflexibility.

As a result, to keep your whole body comfortable and relaxing, it is crucial to maintain your shoulder in a relaxing feel and position and avoid a shrug in them. Furthermore, making the entire body flexible in muscles and joints is also necessary to minimize any common injuries. Thus, you should raise high of concern to this sign immediately.

2. Clenched fists

Another running form mistake is associated with the runners’ hands. Many runners often have a habit of clenching their hands into tight fists in the entire running instead of making their hands relaxing. Although these clenched fists impossibly cause a waste of power and energy, they capably show that your whole body is going to tight up and occur some injuries.

3. Leaning forward

A correct technique about leaning forward form is that you should lean from the ankles instead of the waist. A slight and proper lean can provide all of the runners some awesome advantages such as keep gravity or reduce the propulsion weight on two legs.

However, there is a truth that a wide range of runners performs the wrong forward lean during the workout. They often appear with a waist hunch instead of leaning forward from the ankles. This wrong position not only makes the chest tightening but also leads to a burden in breathing. After all, it can also cause some injuries and pains in shoulder and neck.

4. Slow cadence

Stride length, as well as stride frequency, is an essential key for running speed improvement. In fact, numerous runners may try their best to boost their stride length, which leads to a reduction in stride frequency in turn. For an optimal condition, the stride frequency had better be around 180 foot strikes every minute.

The over-striding makes your feet land outside the gravity of your body center and then leads to some running-related pains and injuries. You can recognize the sign of low cadence or over-striding when there is anything below your knees which makes a ground landing ahead of your body.

5. Heel striking

As a result of slow cadence, heel strike occurs, too. Heel strike means that you land each movement and step on the ground on the heel of your feet instead of the entire feet. Like slow cadence, the common mistake puts stress and pressure on the muscles and joints, thus, causes some injuries and pains to some your body’s parts.

In this case, you fail in pushing off the feet when it puts in the front of the hips while the hips have to come over the entire feet to drive you toward. In fact, some runners may suffer from a bad sense between feet contact and forward movement timing.

6. Watch the feet

Many people often keep their eyes down to the ground to discover any burdens or just block out the needed distance they must go over. For a short time, it doesn’t cause bad effect to your total feel and performance, but if you keep this position for several hours, this negative posture may make your neck and head injured and cause you experience a bad feel in them.

Instead of looking down, keeping your eyes anywhere but straight ahead while you are running can better your form for a requirement of a straight spine in a correct running technique.

7. Shallow breathing

Keeping a proper breathing can become a big difficulty for any runners at any levels, especially for the beginners. The most common consequence is that they often don’t pay attention to their breathing when they are running. In contrast, it is highly appreciated to concentrate on a correct breathing or a belly breathing during a run.

8. Lack of cross- training

There is a big mistake among several runners and athletes that they believe running is just the only form of necessary sports, so they only concentrate on running while ignoring anything else.

However, with these things you are doing, it also means you are putting pressure and stress on the same bones, joints, and muscles associated with running activities. After a long-term practice, these parts of your body may become too vulnerable and weak, thus, easily get pains and injuries.

Instead of just focusing on running practice only, involving multiple types of sports will help you to work out and practice on different joints, bones, and muscles. From this, you can keep peace in mind during your workouts because your muscles are now strong enough to ensure your safety.

How can you avoid all of the running form mistakes?

Finding how to deal with some common form of mistakes is not difficult, but it is not very easy too. There are numerous ways which are suggested from different sources available on the Internet. However, there is no trusted basis to confirm that they are safe and effective enough for your health and your practice. With suggestions from experts, we carry out 8 ways to help you solve these 8 common running form mistakes as following.

Tensed shoulders

To fix this matter, my suggestion is to have a fast relaxing exercise before you run. Make sure that your shoulders are raised in an exaggerated shrug. After that, make them return to their correct position by relaxingly dropping them down.

Clenched fists

A great way to fix the running mistake is to release any tension in your hands after each mile marker. At every mile, make sure that you make your hands release at two sides of your body and then don’t forget to shake them out.

It doesn’t mean that you keep your hands completely loose. Instead, a proper and gentle fist can better your performance and your endurance as well. With the aim to avoid too tight fists, you can imagine that you are holding something in your hands while running. This action will help to keep your hands easy and loose enough for a proper form.

Leaning forward

Because this mistake tends to make yourself strike at the waist, the best way is to keep the entire body straightening up. More importantly, remember to run tall with the shoulders erect and a straight spine.

Slow cadence

The easiest way to deal with this mistake is to listen to the feet hit the ground while you are running. Pay high attention to your cadence improvement; it will help to increase your efficiency as well.

Heel striking

To make sure that you eliminate heel striking and land the ground at the position between mid-foot and heel, you can pretend that you are running over a hot surface to make all steps gentle and light. Moreover, it is better for you to strike each movement and step slightly behind or directly under your whole body.

Watch the feet

To correct the running form mistake, you should naturally keep looking ahead or maintain your eyes on the horizon from the start to the end of a run. Ensuring a proper eyes level also means that you are keeping your neck and head in a straight line. Lastly, don’t forget to maintain this correct posture for the entire run.

Shallow breathing

To avoid shallow breathing as well as practice a proper one for your workout, first, lie on your back on a flat and comfortable ground or surface and then let a hand on the abdomen. Make sure that you can take advantages of the entire lung capacity and gain a suitable amount of oxygen.

Lack of cross- training

The fix: My suggestion is to combine one strength-training such as weight lifting and one cross-training including yoga, cycling or swimming with your running timetable every week or period of the workout. Remember not to do running only if you don’t want your whole body to get pains and injuries.


In short, it is extremely necessary for any runners at any levels to apply a proper form of running. Not only does this form help to protect people from any common pains and injuries, especially in the joints, bones, and muscles but it also promotes the effectiveness as the main purpose of running. As a result, choosing the right way to run and exercise plays a crucial task.

However, learning how to run correctly is not always easy for numerous people, especially for the beginners. There are mainly 8 common running form mistakes you regularly suffer from as we have mentioned above. Luckily, some suggestions are also revealed to help you overcome this matter easily.

I hope that you will find the above informative article helpful and interesting. I am sure that now you can realize your common mistakes during your run and confidently treat these with ease and comfort. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let us know by leaving your comments and your questions here.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: