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10 Common Running Mistakes to Avoid

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Updated June 18, 2014

5 of 10

Running Mistake #5: Bad Upper Body Form
Couple Running

These runners are practicing good upper body form. Their arms are at their side, rotating at their shoulders, and at a 90 degree angle.

Symphonie
The problem: Some runners swing their arms side-to-side, which makes you more likely to slouch and not breathe as efficiently. Some beginners have a tendency to hold their hands way up by their chest, especially as they get tired. You'll actually get more tired by holding your arms that way and you'll start to feel tightness and tension in your shoulders and neck.

The solution: Try to keep your hands at waist level, right about where they might lightly brush your hip. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle, with your elbows at your sides. You should rotate your arms at the shoulder (not at the elbow), so they're swinging back and forth.

Imagine a vertical line splitting your body in half -- your hands should not cross it. Keep your posture straight and erect. Your head should be up, your back straight, and shoulders level. When you're tired at the end of your run, it's common to slump over a little, which can lead to neck, shoulder, and lower-back pain. When you feel yourself slouching, poke your chest out.

More: Tips for Proper Running Form
How to Avoid Tension When Running
Video: Proper Running Form

Related Video
Proper Running Form-Gait
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