Last time on “Become a Better Runner,” (Who am I? A TV show host?) I talked about the benefits of running without headphones or music. Today, I’m going to explain why you should start to add bouts of backwards running into your routine.
Actually, you could totally lead an entire run with your backside if you really wanted to, (hopefully you know the route well!) but to first get the hang of it, you’ll probably want to start off with smaller, intermittent periods within a mostly forward-facing run. Here’s why you should give it a try!
1. Burn More Calories
Wanna cut more calories in a shorter amount of time? Of course you do! Running backwards requires more energy, which means you’ll burn more calories than you would during a regular, old forward-facing run. Say hello to the fitter, stronger runner!
2. Strengthen Your Core and Improve Your Posture
When you run backwards, your body naturally takes on a more upright position, which means you’ll need more engagement from your core muscles. What better way to do core work and get your cardio workout in all at the same time?
3. Say Sayonara to Shin Splints
Shin splints are especially common in new runners since the muscles in the area tend to be weak when they aren’t engaged as often. Whether you’re a novice or pro, nobody should ever have to deal with the obnoxious pain that comes along with shin splints, because being able to walk normally is a thing that most people cherish.
Not to worry! Running backwards is a great way to strengthen the muscles in the lower, front portion of your legs and get some blood flowing to the area which will help relieve soreness and prevent it in the future!
4. Increase Your Speed, Endurance and Stability
Running backwards puts a greater emphasis on your calves, quads, and shins. Adding intermittent bouts to your running routine 2 to 3 times per week will give you greater strength all around and you’ll be a better, faster runner because of it. And since running backwards requires more effort, your stamina and cardiovascular endurance will reap the benefits too!
5. Look Like a Bad@$$!
Hey… I’m just sayin’ !! Last time I was spotted running backwards around my neighborhood, my neighbors told me I was making them look bad. Get on my level, neighbors. GET. ON. MY. LEVEL.