It has long been thought that running is so natural that you just know how to run from an early age.
While this is true in many instances, our modern lifestyles can train children to have a less than ideal running gait. Where running may have started out perfectly in some children, by the time they have worn modern shoes and have had an inactive lifestyle where they sit for long periods of the day, particularly at school or in front of electronics, this all plays a role in diminishing their ideal running form.
On the other hand, you can have children and raise them the exact same way with the same amount of activity levels and footwear and they can still demonstrate differences in their ability to run with smooth, pain-free and efficient running gait. As a mother of twins, I know this all too well.
Most people will start teaching children how to throw even though that is a natural ability that we all learn from a young age, however we are working on training or coaching this throwing form as soon as we think about getting our children into sports. I want you to think about running form and gait the same way. Yes, we all may know how to run but we don’t all know how to or have the strength and mobility to maintain good running form and keep us healthy and as efficient as possible – just like with learning to throw well.
The main key areas that you want to address are:
- Foot landing position
- Amount of knee bending
- Foot pushoff
- Hip and core control
You may be wondering when is the right time to start changing or working on your little runner’s gait. That time is really when they start running, just after they learn to walk, or anytime thereafter. You may notice some movements in their running that can be modified or you may just want to help them run more efficiently from the beginning. Running is also part of most sports that you will get your child involved with. By becoming a better runner they will enjoy most sports more and even improve their performance at all of the running sports if they are more efficient and a faster runner from the beginning.
I want to encourage you to start working with them and their running gait from the time that they start walking and running!
Let me know if you would like me to work with your young runner! I can work with you online or remotely for convenience for you and your life! Please email me and I would love to help you and your little runner out!