The Beginner’s Guide To The Pose Method For Runners

Looking to learn more about the pose method? Then you have come to the right place.

Running form matters for plenty of reasons. Good technique not only reduces your injury risk but has the potential to drastically improve your performance.

Over the past few decades, many running schools have emerged to improve running form. One of the most popular ones is the Pose Running Method.

So what is the post-running method, and how can it help?

In this article, I’ll share with you the full guide to the pose running method and how to incorporate it into your running plan so you can reap the benefits.

Sounds great?

Let’s get started

What Is The Pose Running Method?

The Pose Method is a running technique that focuses on the biomechanics of running to help you improve performance while keeping your body healthy.

The principle is simple – find your optimal position to use to your full physiological potential.

The main premise of the pose method is to teach you how to run efficiently and reduce your risk of injury.

The method was developed in 1977 by Nicholas S. Romanov, a famous Russian Olympic coach in the former Soviet Union. The Russian Olympic coach analyzed the movements of both humans and animals to better understand the role that physics plays in efficient movement.

By the end, Romanov concluded that the body moves through a series of positions as it moves throughout space. The Pose Running method is based on the principle that an optimal—or ideal—position exists for athletes in every sport and discipline.

By practicing The Pose running method principles, you might be able to maximize your performance and cut injury risk in several sports.

Injury Rate & Running Form

Research has reported that over 80 percent of runners get injured every year.

And as far as I can tell, bad form contributes to this problem.

When you come to think of it,  you might be taking about 7000-8000 steps on average during a five-mile run. So, by placing extra stress on your muscles, bones, joints, and ligaments, you create many opportunities to do damage and injury.

When you practice the Pose Running method, you ensure every step you take is efficient—both for the sake of speed, endurance, and injury prevention.

What’s more?

Romanov has also concluded that the further your foot hits the ground ahead of your body—or what’s known as the heel strike—the longer it takes for your body to move from one phase to the next.

This contributes to undue load on your muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

The Downsides

Although the Pose running method proponents would claim that there are no downsides, the method isn’t without shortcomings.

For starters, the method preaches a forefoot strike. Trying to change your strike pattern when you’ve been a heel or mid-foot striker for a long time may place a lot of strain on our calves and Achille’s tendon.

This may set you up for calf and Achilles pain, especially during the first few weeks of training. What’s going to happen next is nobody’s guess.

What’s more?

Although I hate to state the obvious, the pose running method isn’t the answer to all of your running technique prayers. It’s not a one-size-fit-solution that will work for everyone.

The Pose Method Three Principles

Practicing the Pose Method is all about proper technique. Good form is the foundation of running and the best way to improve your performance and reduce injury risk. I cannot stress this enough.

The Pose running method is divided into three elements: the pose, the fall, and the pull. Let me explain each.

  • The Pose Element

Also known as the running pose, The pose is essentially a whole-body position that sets your body to form an S-like shape.

Whether you’re a beginner runner or an elite athlete, you’ll, eventually, have one leg supporting your body weight and the other, bent, leg relaxed with the foot under your hip.

This forms a “Figure 4” pose. During this position, your ankles, hips, and shoulders are aligned with your support leg, most of your weight on the ball of your foot.

What takes place before and after the support phase is where you can improve the most, but it helps to understand more about the support phase to build onto it.

The Practice

The Pose position is the foundation of the Pose Method. After all, the method is named after it.

Here’s how to master it.

Start by getting your hang around what the pose position is, then learn how it feels to be in it.  Practice holding the Pose Position for one minute on each leg.

Here’s what to keep in mind.

  • Your upper body should be all aligned.
  • Make sure you’re standing with your body on the ball of your foot
  • Put most of your body weight on the ball of your foot instead of the heel.
  • Your support knee should be relatively bent, and the other leg lifted.
  • A slight bend in the knee of the standing leg and the lifted foot relaxed
  • Make sure your ankle is a position under your hip.

 

  • The Fall

Or what’s known as the drive phase, the fall is a key principle in the Pose method that’s key for moving your body forward.

The principle is to put gravity to work by helping you speed up and keep your forward moment by adopting a slight forward lean. Just make sure you’re leaning forward with your body and concentrating on falling forward on every step you take.

To “fall forward” properly, lean from your ankles and not the hips. Instead of bending at the waist or leaning forward with your chest, you’re falling forward from your hips, mildly shifting your center of mass.

Let gravity create your forward movement. Aim to lean forward and focus on falling forward with every step you take. Think of it as a controlled fall. Let gravity do the work.

Do this right by shifting your bodyweight towards your forefoot while keeping your upper body upright.

The Practice

One way to get your body adapted to the falling forward feeling is to practice the “Timber” drill. The timber drill is useful for practicing the forward fall. You can practice by allowing a forward fall as far as possible then assume a lunge position to break the fall with one leg.

This YouTube tutorial can help.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DTd7t8nzEg.

You can also practice the Fall phase by using the wall to help.

Begin by standing in the Pose position a few feet from the wall, then fall into it. Remember that the lean comes from your ankles, not your hips.

  • The Pull

Pulling consists of the recovery phase. Following the “fall’, you start the next step by pulling your front heel off the ground and toward your glutes instead of pushing your foot into the ground.

Once you fall, kick off the next step by pulling the front heel toward your glutes rather than pressing your foot into the ground.

During the pull, you’ll have to “pull” your foot directly under your hip using your hamstring muscles.  By pulling right, you might feel lighter on your feet, and you might even notice that your cadence is a bit higher than what you are used to.

The Practice

One of the often ignored elements of the pull phase is cadence, which is the number of times your feet hit the ground in one minute of running.

Research shows that taking about 170-180 steps per minute is an effective leg turnover for both improving efficiency and protecting against injury. Proper Pose Running calls for a cadence—or leg turnover—that’s much faster than you might be used to.

As a general rule, shoot for roughly 180 foot strikes per mine, or 90 strides per minute.

Don’t know how to practice this? Get a metronome and set it for 90 beats. Next, try syncing your foot strikes with the chirp of the metronome.

For more on improving your running cadence, please check my full guide here.

Conclusion

Pay attention to these three separate yet interconnected elements that can come together to help you build a more efficient and effective running technique.

Should You Try To The Pose Running Method?

If you have a history of overuse injury and suspect your form might be the reason behind your troubles? Then in such a case, it wouldn’t hurt to try something new. But I won’t recommend trying to alter your running form if you’ve been running your entire life without any major problems.

Conclusion

Learning the Pose Method on your own can be tricky. That’s I’d recommend hiring a coach who can help you with it, especially if you have the means.

It’s hard to analyze your own technique and make the necessary changes without having a second set of expert eyes for feedback. Even the help of a running friend can set you on the right path.

Pose Running Drills You Can Try

The following YouTube Tutorials are super helpful to help you instill proper Pose Method movement patterns. Practice the drills as a part of your warm-up routine.

Running pose

Two leg hops

The pony drill

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKaeCW56bAo

Foot Taping

 

Conclusion

The Pose running method is a  reliable way to improve your running efficiency and hopefully reduce injury risk. Just keep in mind that it might not work for you as it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, regardless of what might the method advocates may claim.