Mostly upright and relaxed running posture, with a slight, whole body, forward lean beginning at the ankles, can be regarded as the most efficient one. You should not lean forward at the waist. Your chest should be pushed out and your shoulders back and relaxed. Avoid all tension in your upper body. Tension is a form wrecker. Leaning too far forward at the waist will cause a stumbling, high impact motion that will slow you down and put excessive stress on your knees, hips and ankles.
Leaning backward will cause you to run with too much vertical motion and will also stress to your hips and back. Even the totally vertical posture that many running experts recommend has some built in stride inefficiencies. When running with a very vertical posture, you tend to reach out with both your legs and arms. This wastes energy and slows you down. A slight, whole body, forward lean will enlist the help of gravity just enough to assist with directing your momentum smoothly forward. Keep your hips pressed forward and your butt tucked in.
Visualize your standing face first against a wall. Press your hips forward so the front of your hips touches the wall. Running with your hips forward will help keep your motion going forward instead of up and down. It will also allow you to drive your knees efficiently forward. Your foot should touchdown on the ball of your foot, with your foot directly under your center of gravity, not on your heel with your foot in front of your body. If you land on your heel you are over striding and are putting too much stress on your knees and hips. You are also putting on the brakes with each stride. Landing either flat footed or on the ball of your foot minimizes the impact and keeps your forward momentum going strong.
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