Is Running Backward Good for You?

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    Feb 05, 2017 2:53 PM GMT

    NYT: The biomechanics of running backward are, unsurprisingly, almost exactly the inverse of the forward version.

    Because it is relatively strenuous, backward running can be effective in building fitness. A 2014 study found that even among walkers, going backward resulted in greater improvements in physical performance than a comparable amount of forward walking.

    Similarly, for a 2016 study, experienced runners who traded their normal training program for five weeks of backward running became about 2.5 percent more efficient by the end when running forward. They could now run faster without requiring more oxygen.

    Backward running also results in less pounding of the knees, studies show, so it is sometimes used to help runners rehabilitate from injuries to that joint.

    But there is a literal downside. People often trip, stumble or slam into objects and other people while running backward. As a 2015 study diplomatically concluded, backward running results in “a higher magnitude of coordination variability” than forward running.
  • stratavos

    Posts: 1869

    Feb 05, 2017 8:24 PM GMT
    being a former figure skater, I can agree that knowing how to move backwards always helps in moving forwards.
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    Feb 05, 2017 9:54 PM GMT
    I do it frequently for short distances.

  • Feb 06, 2017 9:18 AM GMT
    Basketballers do more backwards running than almost any other sport and have fewer hamstring pulls! It is excellent for strengthening hamstrings and balancing strength between hammies and quads.
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    Feb 06, 2017 6:01 PM GMT
    I'm a track coach and used to have my kids do a backward lap as part of their daily warmup routine because it strengthens the muscles around the knee and helps prevent knee injuries. For us, cases of patellar tendonitis and lateral patellar movement decreased.

    It's easier to do on a track than a trail or sidewalk - it's flat without the potholes and sticks, and you can see yourself drifting to one side by watching the stripes.