Why you should rotate your hips and not your shoulders when you run…

Why you should rotate your hips and not your shoulders when you run…

Posted In: ChiRunning | Running divider No Comments »

Do you notice what your hips do when you run? I bet you notice your arms and shoulders though.

One of coaching points that I make time and time again in my workshops is to concentrate a bit more on the arm swing when you’re starting ChiRunning. The arm swing is a bit more important when you’re not using your legs as the mode of propulsion.

If you’re trying to be efficient, try to minimize your shoulder movement. When you move your shoulders from side to side, you end up throwing your weight from side to side which takes energy away from trying to get faster and further ahead. Instead you should simply rotate your arms gently in your shoulder socket. It makes the arm swing more efficient, which then stabilizes the upper body.

It is actually harder to rotate your hips than your arms since it’s very hard to isolate your hip rotation. Also, hip rotation is not something you do but rather something you allow.

If you have a level pelvis and no undue tension in the core area, then your hips will rotate automatically when you’re running. Easier said than done for some people. A lot of folks have issues with the awareness in the hips area. And most people hold tension in the buttock and hip area so it’s counterproductive.

Hip rotation helps with efficiency, and injury prevention as it gets rid of a lot of extra energy from the ground. It also smooths out your stride and provides some free speed. Who doesn’t want that?


For those interested, I’ve reviving the #31in31 challenge in January. It will have the same rules as last year but stay tuned for all the details later this week.

It might help me with that ultramarathon thing…

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