One of the cues we use all the time with our On ZAP Endurance team is to run tall. Another way to think of this is to try and keep your spine as long as you can while you’re running. Try this: picture a string running through your spine and out the top of your head. Imagine a helium inflated at the end of that string, pulling up on your spine as you run.
Running tall and keeping your spine long will improve your ability to run with your feet landing directly under your center of gravity rather than out in front of you, slowing your forward momentum and putting additional stress on your hips and knees. It also puts the rest of your core in a position to stabilize your spine properly when you’re running.
Proper spinal stabilization is the first step toward running with good posture. A stable spine puts your glutes and hip muscles in proper position to engage and stabilize your hips while you run, keeping you efficient and healthy. Every runner who has been to a physical therapist with a running related injury has probably been told they need to strengthen their glutes.
This is likely true, but you also have to run with a stable spine in order to put your glutes and hips in the position where they can actually do their job. Running tall and keeping your spine long is the first part of that process.