If you ever experience back pain when running, are a runner that has been to physical therapy, or are curious about foot strike position, this article is for you!
One of my favorite workshops to conduct is the CHP Running Technique and Performance lab. I have a blast throughout the workshop, but the Q&A portion is my favorite. I have gotten the opportunity to answer many different questions which have forced me to expand my knowledge and has helped me to create a better workshop over time.
While the questions that I receive consistently differ, one topic remains consistent. Someone inevitably asks about foot strike position and my answer often surprises them.
There is no correct foot strike position.
Among other things, foot strike position is dependent on an individual’s body dimensions (limb length as an example) and the position of the body above.
While we cannot change your anatomy, we can change the position, aka the posture, of our bodies.
A “stacked” posture will facilitate a foot strike that occurs directly underneath the body. This foot strike position results in a more efficient stride and minimal stress to the body. To learn about the stack, check out a previous article that I wrote on Learn to Stack Like a Snowman.
Attempt the drill below to feel what it is like to have a stacked posture while running.
- Grab a partner and ask him/her/they to stand behind you (you are also standing)
- Have your partner press down on your shoulders with a moderate amount of force and do not let them squish you
- As you resist them you should feel your abs engage and feel as if you are standing tall
- Next, attempt to shift your weight onto 1 leg and pick up your opposite foot while resisting the force of your partner
- Try the other leg
For a video on this drill, click here.
After performing this drill, you should have a better sense of your optimal running posture. Try to replicate this feeling the next time you go on a run!