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How Should My Hands Be When I Run?

Running Tip: Mind Your Hands

When running, most of us concentrate on our feet, breathing, moving forward, or just not slowing down and walking. On your next run, I ask you to consider your hands, since we all carry a lot of unnecessary tension in our forearms. When running, your hands should be relaxed, or rather cupped into a soft (with the emphasis on soft ) fist. When you hold a tight fist, you tense your forearm, and that is wasted energy. I encourage you to not hold anything with your hands when out for a run; this slight imbalance can cause your torso to rotate, and torso alignment is key to good form. This means using an iPod holder or a water bottle belt, or keeping track of public water fountains for on-the-spot sips during your next run.


opentypeA opentypeA 8 years
On a related note...if you want to push yourself, swing your arms faster. It makes it easier :-)
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 8 years
My sister taught me that, and once I was aware of that little change in my hands I became a more focused and comfortable runner.
katyharper katyharper 8 years
Back in high school, my cross country coach told us to pretend like we were carrying a potato chip in our hands.
TammyO TammyO 8 years
LOl Sunshine! I also have found that when I run I have loose fists with both thumbs sticking out(I feel so dopey when this happens), and I have to force myself to tuck them in and run with looser hands down around belly button height.
MrsRachel MrsRachel 8 years
Gee whiz, when I first started running I thought that it would be pretty simple....but there are so many things to try to remember!
sunshinepointe sunshinepointe 8 years
I never noticed how I hold my arms until yesterdays arms are pretty floppy and I have a loose fist with my thumbs sticking up like I'm trying to hitch a ride. Pretty funny actually.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
This is something I have to constantly remind myself to do. When my runs get tough, I tend to clench my fists and shrug my shoulder which only makes running more difficult.
syako syako 8 years
I read somewhere that you should feel like your holding a butterfly in your hands. It helps me out, I don't know why. :) I'm very conscious of my arm positioning as well, also my shoulders.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I have the same problem TidalWave. I remember every couple minutes or so and push them down, but they go right back up and in.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
I have always read, too, that your arms should be at waist level. However, and maybe i focus on my arms/hands too much, mine are always closer to my chest height and i have to mentally remember to push them down. i also angle them inwards, especially when i'm starting to tire, which I probably shouldn't do.
heatherhas heatherhas 8 years
I have thought a lot about this while running too. My hands stay relaxed and I tend to keep my arms down so my hands are around waist level.
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