Technique Tuesday — Align Your Stride for Optimal Breathing
Feeling winded when you run? If you’re trying to burn up the road but your lungs seem to be the only thing on fire, your alignment could be to blame. Floppy form is a common culprit for hindering runners’ ability to use their full breath capacity. When we start to get tired mid-mile (or mid-mile 20?) and loose steam, the shoulders often tend to round forward and the chest collapses, causing the breath to become more shallow and ragged. Maintaining deep, steady breaths while you’re running — or doing any kind of workout — can boost your endurance and make it feel like less of a struggle. Try it: Upper-body alignment in runner’s lunge
Practice this pose pre-run to recall your full breathing capacity and practice optimal alignment in both your upper and lower body. While this clever pose mimics running form, it also trains the knees to stabilize, and strengthens and lengthens your stride. Hold for 5 – 10 deep breaths before switching sides.
- Take a long step back with your left leg and come into a lunge with your right knee at 90 degrees, tracking directly over the ankle
- Keep your back leg straight or set the knee to the ground if that feels too hard
- Drop your arms to your sides and turn your palms to face forward, noticing how that broadens your chest
- Keep your chest broad and your right knee stable as you raise your arms overhead (face the pinkie sides of your hands toward each other when your arms get up there)
- Relax your neck and shoulders and continue to focus on maintaining the open, broad feeling in your chest.
- Take a few of your deepest possible breaths, using that to set the tone for your breathing as you hit the road
Now that feels like a breath of fresh air!