Add Backward Running to Your Training

11 Jan


Backward Running

Want a way to improve your workout?  Next time you go for a run, spend some time running backward.

A U.K. study found that backward running exerts less stress on the knees than forward running because runners land on the forefoot — a softer motion than heel running.

There are several benefits associated with backward running:

  • Better for your posture — keeps you more upright
  • May help reduce (frontal) knee pain
  • Less ankle and knee soreness
  • May allow you to work through some injuries
  • Burns about 20% more calories
  • Adds variety to your routine
  • Balances muscle development — works opposing muscle groups
  • Makes a great warmup

Find an area (e.g., a track) free of obstacles where you can follow the lane lines to stay on course.  If possible, have a spotter run forward next to you (you can alternate forward and backward running).  Always land on your forefoot, and reach back with your heel on each stride.

Athletes performing forward weighted sled pulls/pushes can improve posterior chain development and overall lower-body strength, power, and stability by adding short (~15 yard), backward weighted sled pulls to their training regimen.

You may get a few funny looks along the way but, as long as that doesn’t bother you (and it shouldn’t), you can benefit from adding backward running to your workout.

Your thoughts?


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