Running Form Drill: Backward Running

Photo: Scott Draper

Improve your efficiency with this classic drill.

Why?

If you’re always moving forward when you run, is there any reason to ever go in the opposite direction? The answer is yes. Just as you must propel yourself forward when setting out for a run, you must also launch yourself backward to get going in the opposite direction. The difference is in the primary muscles involved with each motion. Incorporating some backward running into your pre- or post-run drill routine can help improve your ability to cover ground in front of you more quickly and with enhanced efficiency.

How?

Run backward for 50 yards as part of a comprehensive drill routine. Remember to “run tall” and keep your core engaged while remaining in the sagittal plane and employing quick turnover. By pushing off your forefoot to run backward, the glutes and upper hamstrings lead the way, and get stronger as a result. Do two to four backward runs with 30 seconds of standing recovery between repetitions.

When?

Following one or two of your easy runs during the week, or after your warm-up for speed workouts.

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