A simple guide to walking and running cues

mobility run form running injuries Feb 15, 2021
A person practicing walking and running cues

Running and walking cues can profoundly affect the way you move. They’re also designed to improve your running and mechanics. However, running cues that start out as effective and positive, can over time, become negative.

The key is to choose the running or walking cues that have little or no downside and that will stay relevant for a longer period.

Here are a few simple, walking and running cues you can try, that will stand the test of time. Remember, walking and running cues are different from each other, so pick the cues that’ll work for you.

Walking cues

The aim of walking is to integrate your surroundings with your senses, sight, smell, sound and touch. You should be relaxed and aware of your surroundings. Walking is a great way to integrate your thoughts with movement and relax the nervous system.

Try this:

  • Start with a long spine and gentle forward lean until your toes relax on the ground.
  • Leave your heel on the ground until your body passes over your hip.
  • Leave your heel on the ground until you feel a gentle stretch in your hip.
  • Let your arms swing gently at your sides.
  • Your feet should adapt and conform to the ground.

WATCH this video on how to go for a walk, and enjoy it!

A tip on shoes

Walking is a great low impact activity, so you can use the opportunity to strengthen your feet and make them, as well as your hips more supple – by wearing flexible shoes with little to no cushioning. You can also try walking barefoot if the terrain is safe to do so. Watch this space, Innerunner is launching a program, "How To Choose A Running Shoe."

Walking don’ts

  • Don’t stride out or walk fast

Running cues

Try this:

  • Start with a long spine and gentle forward lean until your toes relax on the ground but be centered.
  • Rule no 1: Always control center of mass and be centered.
  • Look ahead
  • Stay connected to the ground until you feel your stance leg push you forward. Let your foot drive your hip forward.
  • Use your glutes to drive the world beneath you as if you were spinning the globe
  • Allow your shoulders to counter rotate freely
  • Drive your hips into extension
  • Run off the front of your foot, your forefoot should feel like a hinge.
  • Relax your foot off the ground. Imagine pulling your foot out of a gumboot behind you, you have to relax the ankle and soften the foot.
  • Relax and feel connected and efficient.

Mistakes made at the core or in controlling your center of mass can’t be corrected at the periphery, so always control your center of mass and generate power and movement from your hips.

Why you should relax your feet

Relaxing your foot as it leaves the ground will in turn relax the foot striking the ground and allow it to be supple and adaptive. Relaxing the feet will also soften the hips and allow you to access them as springs. Supple, adaptable feet require no thought in order to land and adapt to the ground.

Running don’ts

  • Don’t increase your cadence (speed) or decrease ground contact time by prematurely lifting your feet off the ground
  • Don’t lean
  • Don’t pull back or pull up
  • Don’t consciously use your hamstrings for propulsion or force production.

Transform your running today!

If you really want to transform your running, feel great every time you head out the door and maintain the correct form, I have the perfect program for you. My brand new “10 Running Cues to Transform your Running” is here. In the program I take you through 10 effective running cues, that you’ll get to practice each week.

Sign Up Here

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