One of my training partners, Spongebunny, just finished his first 50-mile run. He did amazing and finished the race with a little left in the tank. He also put in a ton of training on the trails over the summer.
His one question a day after the race was, why do my arms hurt more than my legs?
There is a wrong way to swing your arms when you run. I know, I know, you use your legs and feet to run, if you’re running with your arms you have some major issues.
Here’s the thing though, you run with your arms!
Your legs follow your arm swing. If you’re shoulders are tight, arms are stiff and hands are clenched, you’re going to have some arm soreness the day after a long run.
Arm soreness isn’t so bad…
Okay, so you can deal with soreness, you’re a runner after all, and runners, we’re a pretty tough crowd.
Improper arm swing screws everything up from your arms down. It also causes you to burn a lot more energy while you run. I don’t know about you, but wasting energy when I’m running ends badly.
Alright, so how should arms swing when running?
Keep your arms at a ninety-degree angle. Your swing should be short and compact. Pump back and recover on the forward swing. Your elbows shouldn’t pass your waist when your arms come forward. Don’t sway your arms from side to side. Your hands shouldn’t cross your midline.
Relax your shoulders and resist the urge to lift them toward your neck. Tightening up your shoulders is going to throw off your arm swing and your hip movement. If your hip movement is off, your legs will be out of alignment.
Keep your hands loose. Your hands should be opened, not clenched into fists. A good way to measure is to pretend there is a potato chip in your hand and if you crush it you’ll fall on your face or something equally as unpleasant.
If you continue to experience soreness in your arms or have a hard time staying aware of your arm swing in order to correct it there is a neat little contraption you can get called an arm swing trainer.
They are about $30.00 U.S. dollars and found at http://www.byrdband.com