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How Do I Avoid Bouncing Too Much When I Run?

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Updated May 19, 2013

Question: How Do I Avoid Bouncing Too Much When I Run?
"Instead of nice fluid strides, I tend to have too much up and down movement when I run. What can I do about it?"
Answer: If you bounce when you run, your head and body are moving up and down too much, which wastes a lot of energy. More time in the air means you're going to slow down. Too much up-and-down movement is also tough on your leg and foot muscles -- especially your quadriceps. The higher you lift yourself off the ground, the greater the shock you have to absorb when landing and the faster your legs will fatigue.

To minimize bounce and save energy, run lightly, land softly on your feet, and focus on a faster turnover. Try to keep your feet low to the ground with shorter strides. Your arms can help you keep your stride low and short. Keep your arms bent at a 90 degree angle and concentrate on swinging them lower and shorter. By keeping your arm swing lower and quicker, your legs will stay lower to the ground -- resulting in a shorter stride.

Also, make sure you're not running on your toes, which is another habit that can lead to a lot of bouncing. Try to land on the middle (ball) of your foot, and then roll through to the front of your toes.

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