Saturday, June 14, 2008

Running Backward.

I was just looking on a crossfit WOD some days back which involves around running forward and then backwards. I have been running backward for quite some time and here are some thoughts on why its a good exercise.

  • Balance out things: Backward Running is just opposite of Forward running so while running forward puts stress on Hamstrings and calves on the other hand running backward but more stress on Quads and shins. Running backwards also have place in rehabilitating knees injury.
  • Builds Stamina : Running backwards require much more stamina and is tough on cardiovascular system. Don't believe me, Run 200 meter forward and then run same distance backwards now compare which is challenging. Probable reason is that running backward requires more leg muscle and after long years of forward running you have adapted to forward running.
  • Add variety to workout : If you are bored from running forward then running backwards is a nice change.
  • Improves awareness of the surroundings : As in the case of running forward you are not sure what is behind you so you tend to take cue from other things like sound and thus are better aware of your surroundings.
  • Landing on toes: There is no way you can run backward while landing on heels and thus it promotes landing on toes which is lot better. Using this can be a good way to build leg strength for running using Pose Technique.
  • Looks on People face: People will look you with awe when they see you running backwards faster then they can run forward.
Word of Caution

Running backward can be dangerous if you are running on uneven surface and if you fall you can hurt yourself. So if you are doing it first time do it on a field or a track. Another safe way is to run backwards uphill. Running uphill will reduce your speed and will also reduce the distance from ground so if you fall you would land on hip rather then head.


One of my favorite workout related to running is running 200 M forward then running same distance backward immediately followed by running sideways thus covering all possible plain of motion.
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