Quick Running Form Fix: Elbows Back

Running Form of Women's 1500m Olympic Gold Medalist, Faith Kipyegon, Shows Definite Elbows Back

Every once in a while I try a new technique to better improve my running form and recently struck gold: keep elbows back. It’s that simple! By driving my elbows back, almost immediately I was running taller with better posture. To keep it going on a run, I lightly touch my waistband with each stride to keep my arms driving back.

On a related note, a track commentator during the Tokyo Olympics mentioned that the running form of most finishers will look similar during the race. Did these runners look similar by having their elbows back in these races? I’ll let you judge from the pictures below:

Women's Olympic 1500m

Men's Olympic 1500m

Women's Olympic Marathon

I’ve read that running coaches favor the elbows back cue because the legs follow to drive back as well - leading to better posture and running taller. It also helps with foot strike rather than having to think about where your feet are landing. Another benefit is that your movement and force tend to follow an efficient forward and backward direction, rather than sideways and rotational directions.

Thanks for reading!

Elbows Back not only contributes to a quick running form fix, it's also used by Olympic race walkers too - like Evan Dunfee pictured below during the men's 50k race walk. For more on walking form, readers may be interested in my post: A Runner Studies Walking .

Form of Canadian Olympic Race Walker, Evan Dunfee, Shows Definite Elbows Back

I've posted on running form fixes before. Check out this post on using a "heel flick" in running: Spending a Moment on Running Biomechanics .

Experiment of One Coaching covers topics ranging from running, strength training, health & wellness, sports nutrition to travel at https://www.experiment1coaching.com .