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People Running Backwards

Apparently a new technique to avoid injury and to help recover from common injuries is to run in reverse. You might have tried this (by walking) on the treadmill a time or two to work your calves a bit more or even on the elliptical but this is suggesting flat out running backwards!

Some other benefits are:

  • Burning extra calories (2.5% more body fat is burned)

  • Sharpen balance

  • Mix up daily routine

A study at the University of Milan (in Italy) “found that…the runners struck the ground near the back of their feet when going forward and rolled onto the front of their feet for takeoff. When they went backward though, they landed near the front of their feet and took off from the heels. They tended to learn slightly forward even when running backward. As a result, their muscles fired differently.”

Since running backwards causes far less impact to the front of the knees, it is a good option for those runners with knee complications.

Personally, I am going to start doing it a little. I like the idea that it decreases body fat by 2.5% versus running forward the same amount of distance! I do recommend running with a partner in case someone falls and hurts themselves. I see a bit more runners in our Blacksburg office versus our Roanoke office, and will keep it in mind to bring up to patients who seem to be interested in a challenge!