Pose running method has been around for many decades and still remains as the peak of running techniques. Pose running uses gravity at its side to ensure less injury and maximization of performance. The method was invented by a Russian scientist, Nicholas Romanov to posit a running technique that can be applied to all forms of running. In pose running, the athletes use their mid-foot for landing and hamstring muscles for lifting up the foot again. Pose running requires extensive learning and dedicated training to master. Inaccurate running techniques have caused over 80% of runners to get injured each year. Pose running marks every step as efficient so the runners don’t have to stress on all the body parts which results in injuries.
What is the pose running method?
Pose running method can be defined as the only objective way of measuring the runner’s quality. It’s the only standard based method of running where every movement has a strictly defined standard. The more one swerves from the standard, the worse one’s technique proves to be. Pose running method takes gravity with each stride and downplays the pull of gravity by counterbalance. The whole method can be surmised in three words: posing, falling and pulling.
Who devised the method?
The pose running method was discovered and developed by the famous Russian sports scientist, Dr. Nicholas Romanov. He’s widely renowned for his distinguished works in the fields of athletics, coaching and scientific research on sporting events. Although he’s a high jumper, his work lies with experimenting with running techniques. While coaching athletes, Dr. Romanov discovered that there’s no technique available for running with which he could coach the athletes. He pointed out the importance of gravity in human movement and proposed to manipulate our body in accordance with the laws of gravity while running. This study of his showed that this method can reduce the impact on the knees by 50%.
Dr. Romanov has named this movement the Pose Method. The academic theorization of the movement goes by Pose Theory which has been incorporated into the sporting sciences. There are currently thousands of Technique Specialists who are teaching Pose Method all around the world. It’s not to say that Dr. Romanov “invented” the technique all by himself and he himself doesn’t claim anything like that. What he did was he theorized an already existing method of running that was previously not used consciously by the runners.
Characteristics of Pose Running Method
The most distinguishing characteristics of the pose running method are
- the landing
- the balance during the pose
- leaning forward in a standardized manner
All of these steps are conceptualized so the runner doesn’t land on the heel and becomes prone to injury. Besides these, there are other features of pose running as well.
No excess movement
During each step of running, every runner forms a “4 position” with his legs. But forming this position requires some excess movement which creates slow pace and loss of balance. The pose running method seeks to eliminate this excess movement so the runner doesn’t have to lose his speed and fall victim to injuries.
Unique starting position
In pose running, you have to start with slightly bent knees pointing forward. Tensing and releasing the muscles are suggested. Bend elbows at 90° with fists closed and relaxed shoulders. The head would be in a neutral position.
Every step follows a standard
Pose running is only complete with each of its steps following an explicit order. Breaking any of the rules implies the failure of pose running method. To follow each step is a demanding process which needs training for at least 3 months.
What are the principles of pose running?
Pose running method’s principle of landing on mid-foot is pretty unorthodox. Most of the running patterns encourage landing on forefoot or heel. However, pose running is only a technique to be followed by professional/aspiring runners, not for the people with health issues or who just run for pleasure.
Before starting the actual programme on pose running, the learner has to go through strengthening drills. These drills would help the runners in maintaining balance between strides and oscillation.
The principles of pose running can be pointed out like this:
- the non-supporting leg should be lifted up under hip by using hamstring muscles
- the “change of support” period should be as short as possible
- don’t use toes for keeping the body weight
- the angle of the ankle should be fixed
- never straighten the knees
- the running feet should always be behind the bent knees
- long strides won’t make you faster but the following of the order will
- the movement should be so spontaneous that gravity will propel you forward
- don’t stress the muscles
- the arms are solely used for balance
The Pose Running Mantra (Basic Elements)
Most of us don’t even consider running as any different activity than eating, sleeping or even walking. No one “teaches” us on how to run accurately. This is why most of us can’t run for a long period of time and go out of stamina and energy. But the pose running method offers a technique that sustains the runner for a long period of time without expending much energy. But there’s a catch to learning the pose running method. It follows a pattern or a mantra and it includes these elements:
It’s the position to fall forward during running. The landing is done with the supporting leg and the non-supporting leg is tucked beneath the hip area. The front leg falls forward with the weight of even the non-supporting leg and this makes the landing easier. The knee of the supporting leg cannot be straight and needs to be bent. Unlike other landing methods, pose running supports the weight with the ball of foot. Important things to note:
- The pose works smoothly with gravity and doesn’t require extra effort
- Keep your ankles, hips and shoulders in a straight line
- The most common mistake is to land on the heel and not on the mid-foot
For the fall to correctly happen, the runner has to “hold the pose”. This means that the runner has to keep the non-supporting knee under the hip and the supporting knee has to land on a correct angle (depending on the length of the race). If a runner fails to hold during this step, he/she gets to land on the heel and the method fails. Some important things to note:
- A 10k runner will lean at 10°; a sprinter will lean at 20°
- Don’t pull out the foot under the hip until the next phase
- The lean takes place between the ankle and the hip area
In this stage, the runner literally pulls the leg off the ground and bends it towards the hip. The non-supporting leg now comes down and becomes the supporting leg. However, the failure in this stage means losing the balance of the whole method which in turn results in the slow pace in running. The important things to note in this stage:
- The most difficult part of the whole pose running method
- The short phase in the process
- This is the phase where the runner drops his non-supporting foot
- The runner will land on the ball of the foot
- This is the phase where most injuries can take place due to faulty landing
- This phase is where the cycle of the pose running comes to an end
Cadence is not even in the part of the actual mantra of pose running which is “Pose, Fall, Pull”. But without maintaining a cadence, the pose running won’t be conductive. It’s a countdown of how much time it takes for the runner to execute a full circle of the pose running. An average cadence of 180-200 per minute is highly suggested in running.
Different Pose Drills to Try for Better Outcomes
The purpose of drills in running is highly underestimated since it’s considered as a nuisance to something that we’re already capable of doing. Drills equip us with new insights into the events we’re drilling for. If we consider drills solely as training for strengthening our speed, agility, stamina or endurance, we can’t get what the drill is designed for. Drills give us new perceptions about our own body, its movement, its weight, etc. What we take for granted due to everyday exposure are brought under a new light for inspection.
In pose drills, you will be made aware of each of your movement so you can have next to total control over your own body. This is important because you have to challenge the normative body movement that’s so programmed by gravitational pull. More details about the pose drills will follow in the next paragraphs.
Should you undertake pose running drills?
The quick answer is yes, of course. If you really want to go through the pose running, you must undertake pose running drills. The starting of the drills might be a little bumpy due to its sturdy design but you will get a hang of it in less than a week and will find your body anew. The drills should be practiced either once or twice a day for one consecutive week before the actual run. Performing the drills in barefoot is the most effective way of practicing since it offers you the full understanding of your body movements. The drills should be practiced on grass or race tracks for optimum results. There are three levels of drills for pose running:
- Basic drills
- Intermediate drills
- Advanced drills
These are the different modes of pose running drills:
- Pose stance
- Forward change of support
- Change of support without moving
- Foot tapping
- Front lunge
- Running lunge
As the name suggests, this drill is a static pose that needs holding up for 30 seconds. The drill demands and develops control of the posture. The sensory receptors in the joints send signals to the brain about the new positioning of the joint and the muscle tone.
- This is the elementary way to practice balance
- Always use the mid-foot for holding the body weight
- Align your shoulder, hip and ankle vertically
Pony drill focuses on the location of the bodyweight and its changes. This drill requires the least of the body movement.
- Lift the support leg’s ankle while shifting your body weight to the other leg
- While doing this, only use the muscles in the hamstring
- The landing should be done each time on the mid-foot
Forward change of support
This is the next stage of the pony drill. Don’t speed up on movements yet.
- Slant only a little forward while pulling up the ankle beneath the hip
- Only use the hamstring muscles while doing the drill
- Let the non-support leg to drop as if by gravity
- The whole drill should take no effort from you. You’re doing it wrong if it does
Change of support without moving
This drill is for changing the leg of support with almost spontaneous movement. After mastering the techniques on this drill, your body will feel way lighter.
- Before you pull up, you can feel the weight shifting from one leg to another
- The leg will drop by itself. Don’t force it
- In this drill, you shift the center of gravity in your body from one leg to another
- Use hamstring muscles for pulling up the leg
- Pull the leg under the hip in a vertical way
This drill aims to provide a good mapping of the feet. It focuses on the hamstring muscles to pull the leg off the ground without the assistance of the quadriceps or hip flexors.
- There should be 10-15 taps in a single set of the drill
- The drill will enable you to move the leg vertically in an unpremeditated way
- Work up the hamstrings by doing the drill rapidly
- With the rapidity, you’ll feel your pulled-up leg to tire up easily and it would want to come to the ground by its own
This drill totally isolates the hamstring muscles and increases the range of movements.
- Start drilling on one spot and then slowly move forward when you’re stable
- Follow the earlier drill methods
- Try to be as fast as possible as to pulling up the leg from the ground
- Move forward by slowly leaning forward from the hips. Use the leg under the hip for balance
This is a progression of tapping. This drill should only be performed after completing the previous drills. If the drill is not executed properly, there’s going to be bad strains on the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon.
- Pull up the non-hopping leg using hamstring
- Don’t strain the calf a bit
- Always keep the ankle relaxed
As the drill name suggests, this is literally a drill for switching legs in the most efficient way. The drill will enable you to achieve a grand landing on the balls of the foot and swipe legs with ease.
- You have to transfer the weight of the body from one leg to another
- Only keep your foot on the ground for the time you need to change support
- Always land on your balls of the feet and never on heels
- Vertically align your shoulder, hip and foot
The goal of the drill is to make you as prompt as possible. And to do that, it focuses on the hamstring pull-up speed and minimizing time on ground.
- Imagine you’re already pose running, except you have to be faster on leg movement
- The legs should be pulled up and down so rapidly that they become automatically responsive
- Deliberately pull- up the leg but let it fall to the ground on its own
There was no official running technique guide before the pose running method. This method of running has spawned a lot of different running techniques by now but the credibility of pose running has been proven countless times. Many studies also prove the point that the “natural” runners actually follow the pose running technique unwittingly. There’s obviously no ideal running form per se but pose running offers the greater mobility of body parts which eventually results in fantastic runs.
Since pose running requires several drills to master, it demands patience and perseverance from the leaners. Once you get a hang of your body, you’ll feel as if you’re flying while running.