Why center of mass is vital for running

mobility running form Apr 12, 2021
man about to run and control center of mass

When it comes to running efficiently, controlling your centre of mass is really important. What do I mean when I talk about centre of mass? Simply put, your centre of mass is the balance point of your body’s mass or weight. It can also be referred to as a pivot point around which your body can move from.

When a “system” such as the human body is balanced around it’s centre of mass – it’s said to be in a state of equilibrium.

To run well, you want to master two things:

  1. Remove pain and restriction from your body
  2. Control your centre of mass

Some critical do’s and don’ts

Running doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, we’re born to run, and our bodies have evolved over time to run longer distances. But, there are a few fundamentals you want to get right when you run.

Keep these do’s and don’ts in mind:

  • You DON’T want to crunch down, “sit” or hunch when you run
  • You DON’T want to see your hands under your chin (we’re not in boxing class)
  • You DON’T want your legs and feet to kick out in front of you and be behind your centre of mass
  • You DO want your feet underneath to move behind and help to propel you forward
  • You DO want to be in a centred, supple position without leaning too far forward
  • You DO want to learn to leave your foot on the ground and increase your extension behind you
  • You DO want to tilt your head slightly forward and down when you run, not up. The second you tilt your head upwards, you’re at risk of collapsing your posture and de-stabilising.

ALSO SEE: Another simple way to improve your running position 

How to control your center of mass:

  1. Stand against a wall, with your butt against the wall, heels against the wall and head against the wall.
  2. To get your alignment right, pretend there’s a piece of string running from the back of your head, down to your sacrum.
  3. Then move your hands to your head and gently tilt your head forward towards the ground. The head still touches the wall. When you do this simple move, your may experience your toes will naturally “find” the ground.
  4. Once you’re in this position, gently push yourself forward off the wall with your elbows, the head is over the shoulders and shoulders over hips, you have now shifted your center of mass forward without leaning, you are equally centred).
  5. When you do this, it’s important to have equal weight in your heels and forefoot (50/50) with toes gently touching the floor.
  6. This is the position you want to move forward and run from.

 WATCH how I demonstrate this exercise here:


Tilting your head slightly forward is one of the most powerful cues to remember in running. For more effective running cues that’ll transform your running, join my 10 Cues To Transform Your Running today.

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