How massage can help posture and running

The back and pelvis are core to everything we do, a central structure around which our bodies can move. They provide the foundation which sets us up for health, and fewer niggles, aches and pains. It’s also a great basis for sports, which rely on our bodies being able to move effectively.  

When you are running, a stable and healthy back and pelvis are key to effective and efficient movement. 

  • Your head is held up high so you can look forward. 
  • Your posture is tall and your shoulders back so you can breathe more deeply and swing your arms efficiently for maximum forward propulsion. 
  • The back and pelvis are moving as designed, so your shoulders and arms counterbalance your hips and legs putting less twisting force down through your hips, knees and ankles as you run. 

Good movement in the back, pelvis and torso help to harness the energy in your fascia to propel your legs forwards. As one leg reaches backwards the opposite arm is going forwards, a diagonal sling of elastic “fascia” stores up energy and releases it at the end of the stride to propel the leg forwards with no energy required from your muscles. Free speed!  

When you run your whole body is involved, a well designed kinetic chain of movement. To get the most performance from your body, and reduce fatigue and niggles, you want your body to be moving as it’s designed to do.

Sports and remedial massage can check your alignment and movement, identify any areas that need strengthening or loosening off to help you move closer to an ideal posture and a more efficient movement pattern. By using massage techniques as well as exercises and stretching the body can be encouraged to gradually change the way it moves. 

Picture a runner with their body and head steady and stable, only moving gently up and down as they run. This is the stable foundation for the arms and legs to coordinate their movement to move you forwards. Now picture that runner going downhill, maybe on a footpath or trail. The back, pelvis and head are still on a steady trajectory but the arms and legs are working really hard (often in all directions!) to keep the runner moving forwards, react to the ground and keep balance. So a healthy happy back can help you be a more efficient runner, especially when going downhill.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Therapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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