Many runners complain about experiencing shoulder pain when running or walking; although you are mainly using your legs while running, feeling pain in the upper body-especially the shoulders and neck is normal part of the exercise.
In fact, running is a core body exercise per excellence; your upper body is not just along for the ride. The arm swing and shoulder position are critical components to good running mechanics.
Here are a few tips and strategies that can help you to alleviate and avoid shoulder strain when running.
Develop good running form
The proper running form is the cornerstone of good running practice. If you push your head forward and tense your shoulder, you will always experience discomfort and pain in your upper body-the neck and the shoulders. So, you should keep your head straight and balanced over your spell; your eyes are gently staring 10 to 25 feet ahead of you.
Arms and fists
Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle and let your arms to swing side to side and from your shoulders in a relaxed way. When you sense your fist clening and tightening, plunge your arms down to your side and release off the tension. Then move them back at the 90-degree angle.
Remember to relax your hands and wrists; you can so this keeping your hand in a free and loose fist, almost as if you are holding a butterfly and you do not want to crush it.
Shoulder strains are mainly caused by excess tension and stress in the upper body; thus relaxing when running can lessen tremendously this tension and allow for appropriate flow of energy in the area, preventing strains and discomfort in the process.
You can relax your upper body by lowering your shoulder and rotating gently your neck through the running session. You could also breathe deeply into any tension in the area and letting go of the tension gently. Deep breathing also promotes a sense of relaxation and calmness throughout the training session.
If you work on increasing your shoulders range of motion regularly, you will lessen significantly the risk of strain. As a result, make time to do some gentle shoulder stretches before and after the workout. Do some research on “shoulder stretching exercises” and learn how to increase your shoulder range of motion properly.
Listen to your body
Body awareness is the best preventive plan against shoulder strain. Any pain or mild distress should be used as an indicator that something is going wrong. Do not push yourself if you feel any tenderness; instead slow down and do some of the above interventions to release the discomfort.
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