Chi running…every tried it, or even heard of it?! According to this article on Wikipedia, “ChiRunning(CR) is a method of running instruction…Its primary focus is to teach runners to move in a more efficient, natural way.”
The truth is, most of us are never really taught exactly how to run, it is more of a natural instinct and we just do it. When you were two and started running, no one was really there giving you specific running form and instruction, and for the most par this continued throughout our lives. Although most of us have done pretty well so far, with the occasional shin splints here and there, we’ve gotten here and there without any major difficulties.
Well that is what leads to running injuries, the lack of that running instruction. This is where chi running comes in, to fix this lack of instruction and give you a more efficient and natural way to run, causing less injury to your body.
According to the ChiRunning.com site on What Is Chi Running, the technique of chi running comes from blending the powerful movements of T’ai Chi and running, creating a “revolutionary approach to effortless and injury-free running.”
It’s all about postural alignment and relaxation, because the combo of these two is what enables us to run faster, farther and without risk of injury. It shares many of the same components with the Kenyans and East Africans, which as we all know from the Olympics, are some of the most relaxed and efficient runners in the world dominating long distance racing.
The ChiRunning site states the “technique includes: landing with a midfoot strike, using a ‘gravity-assisted’ forward lean and engaging core strength for propulsion, rather than leg strength. This approach makes your running easier and healthier for your whole body.” There is no resistance from your body, instead running relaxed with a forward momentum.
Too many are injured running, giving running a bad rap. In fact studies show that over 50-60% of runners are injured every year. Chi running is said to help you avoid being one of the statistics, giving you a more efficient biomechanics running technique by placing the workload on the core, rather than the ankles and legs. Doing so helps to eliminate many running injuries such as: IT band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, hamstring pulls, and runner’s knee.
Now that we’ve made you intrigued by the whole idea of Chi Running, we’ll tell you exactly how to implement these techniques into your running form.
Posture for Chi Running:
- Place feet hip width apart, parallel to your feet, feeling your entire foot on ground, soften and relax your feet and knees.
- Lengthen spine without using your knees or shoulders.
- Level your pelvis by using your small abdominal muscles.
- Align your hip joint with the top of your head and tilt statue. At this point shoulders should be over hips and ankles, then let body fall forward and RUN!
For you who are more visual learners, here is a great explanation video of exactly how to perfect your chi running technique:
Try it out let us know how it works for you! Personally I find it easier to run longer, without the added pressure on the knees and legs I am able to run longer!
Have you ever tried or heard of Chi Running?!
What do you think about this kind of running technique?
Written By: Jentry