Are you looking for a way to spice up your jogging routine? Bored with the same old practice? Why not try reverse running?
At first, the idea might seem crazy. You are probably afraid that you will look stupid sprinting on your back. Not to mention, it can be unsafe if you do not know how to do it right.
As silly as it may sound, reverse running is normal. It can deliver a wide array of benefits. If you are not yet convinced to give it a shot, read on!
What is Reverse Running?
Fitness trends come and go. Some may endure the test of time, which should be enough proof that it indeed works. Among others, a perfect example of such is reverse running.
Also called retro running and backward running, reverse running is exactly what the name implies – running in reverse. Rather than running on your front, you will be sprinting on your back.
Reverse running is not a new concept. It started in the 1970s to 1980s. Originally, it was a part of the rehabilitation exercise of U.S. doctors. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until the new century that it became popular again, especially among athletes. As proof of its popularity, reverse running races are also organized around the world.
Benefits of Reverse Running
With a plethora of exercise benefits, there’s no reason why reverse running should not be a part of your workout routine. Below are some of the most compelling reasons to try it.
Enhance Muscular Functions: During reverse running, the body mimics a pendulum action. The muscle and tendon length are constant during contact with the foot on the ground. Propulsion happens through contractile movements, which is a great way to strengthen muscles.
Improve Injury Resistance: Especially amongst athletes, reverse running is touted as an excellent tool for injury resistance. It works the muscles surrounding your knees, making them stronger.
Develop Muscular Balance: Your knees and hamstrings do most of the work in forward running. On the other hand, shins, quads, and quadriceps are utilized when running backward. You will be using opposing muscles, so when you do both, you are balancing your muscular strength.
Increase Metabolic Stimulus: Backward running is good for athleticism as it can improve metabolic stimulus. You will use approximately 28% more energy compared to forward running, making it beneficial for your metabolism.
Improve Posture: When you run in reverse, the back stays upright while you are holding your shoulders back. It also works your abdominal muscles more than forward running. This can help you have better posture.
Tips and Tricks
Make the most of reverse running. Here are some of the best things to do to stay safe and reap its maximum benefits.
1. Do It on a Treadmill
If it is your first time trying reverse running, we suggest that you try doing it first on a treadmill. It is safer and more convenient since you do not have to worry about hitting obstacles on your path. The choices are plenty, but one that you might want to look at is the ProForm Carbon T7. A comprehensive review of this treadmill notes that it stands out because of its price and innovative features, such as a touchscreen display, cooling fan, and shock absorbers. Not to mention, it is foldable for portability.
2. Pick the Right Location
For those who would rather do it outdoors, location is a crucial consideration. Look for a place with minimal obstructions. The surface should also be flat. An open park or beach are some of the best options. Ideally, there should not be a lot of people around, so it will be easier for you to move.
3. Master the Right Technique
As with forward running, it is crucial to master proper technique. This will not only make you safe but will also prevent your body from aching. Your shoulders should be over your feet. Do not use your torso to lean in the front or back as you run. Meanwhile, your arms should be low and close to the body. When pushing your body, use the balls of your feet.
4. Do It Slowly
For beginners, pace your run slowly. At first, you should try walking backward. Once you are comfortable with your pace, you can increase your speed until you master the right rhythm. You can also slowly incorporate it into your forward running routine.