Proper Arm Motion While Running

Foothills’ Mesa physical therapy experts know that long distance running is all about efficiency; preserving your energy for the road ahead with the best shoes, technique, and energy bars, but what if the whole time you’re looking down at your legs you’ve been neglecting your arm form? Proper arm motion while running is very important in balance and stability, but equally important in the efficiency of your stride. Once you know the proper technique, you will begin to see a big change in your energy levels while you run.

First off, what is the proper arm motion technique? Here are our guidelines:

  1. Keep your shoulders squared and back straight. This will keep your chest slightly thrust out, allowing for maximum oxygen intake.
  2. Elbows should remain bent at a 90-degree angle throughout the stride.
  3. Rather than spending energy holding your arms up higher on your body or wasting it letting them hang too low, try to keep your arms around waist level or slightly above.
  4. Keep your arms pumping forward and backward, not allowing them to swing across the front of your body. This helps prevent twisting and keeps your stride as efficient as possible.
  5. Keep your hands lightly cupped but do not clench your fists.
  6. Remember to swing the opposite arms and legs in sync while running.

It is important to practice proper arm motion while running to be able to conserve energy throughout your run and keep your momentum consistent.

Pro Tip: If you begin to feel fatigued on a run, try and focus on your arm motion. This will keep you calm and on pace.

Our certified Mesa physical therapy experts are always here to answer any of your questions or to treat your running related injuries. For more exercise and well being tips, check out our blog.

Image: Aaron


Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy