Retrorunning: the most amazing benefits of running backwards
Are you used to running and do you know its most popular modalities? Believe it or not, more people dare to run backwards, better known as retrorunning, a plurality of running very popular in the Japanese country and Europe. The Japanese have been walking and running backwards for centuries as part of their daily exercise routine. In Europe we can find numerous races where you run face back, from short sprints to entire marathons.
Here you will discover the most special peculiarities of retrorunning and its incredible benefits.
Why is it good to run backwards?
If you have finished running, it may be best to start running later. However, if you already have some more experience in running, you’ll be interested to know that there are many benefits to running backwards. Here is a list of the most important:
- You can do it even if you’re injured. There’s nothing worse than knowing that you can’t run because of pain in a certain part of your body. But the race face back can be done if we have injuries in the groin, hamstrings, knee, Achilles ligament or ankle.
- You’ll burn twice as many calories. It has always been said at all times that taking a hundred steps backwards is like taking a thousand steps forward and its calorific expenditure is considerably higher. But not only is this technique good for losing more calories, but you will also lose more calories in a shorter period of time. A recent study, conducted with college athletes who replaced their exercise with running backwards, lost two with five percent of their anatomical fat in 6 weeks. They had 3 weekly sessions, which lasted between fifteen and forty-five minutes.
- You’ll improve your muscle balance. Running backwards will strengthen the opposing muscle assemblies you usually work front to front. Running forward puts a lot of pressure on the knees and hamstrings. Running on your back will strengthen your cufflinks, shins and thighs, providing greater muscle balance.
- Improve the speed of your legs and your performance. Running backwards requires more care in the concept of movement because it is more difficult to move from one point to another. This care also translates into improved cardiovascular efficiency and increased endurance.
- You’ll improve your body posture. Many runners tilt their heads too much or lean too far forward. This occurs singularly when they are tired and finally it produces back pains. More running backwards we’ll keep our backs straight as we move. An added benefit of running in this posture is that we are also going to work the abdominal muscles.
- You’ll develop your senses. Since you can’t see what’s behind you when you run, it’s essential to use other senses to assist in orienting yourself. Running backwards will sharpen your sense of hearing and your peripheral vision, among other senses.
Precautions to take before practicing retrorunning
While there are many reasons why running back is beneficial, there are also dangers that we must be aware of. The main drawback is that we cannot see the dangerous objects behind us when we run. You could turn your head intermittently over your shoulder, but it would make you lose speed and end up damaging your neck. The most common threats are tripping over an object or falling into a hole.
Each and every way, you mustn’t let these dangers hold you back. If you’re a beginner, start running on the treadmill and then, as soon as you feel safe, go running in the street. However, in order to avoid this kind of incidents, follow these 3 tips to practice retrorunning that we indicate:
- Run somewhere safe, like a road. This is a great idea for different reasons. In general, the roads are cared for, so you will not find stones, tree branches or holes around you. In addition to this, they are away from traffic and it is not customary to have enough people.
- Start walking. Because the movement of running backwards is absolutely different from that of running forwards, you should become familiar with this movement even before you start the race. Once you feel comfortable, start with short, slow runs.
- Check your posture. You mustn’t bend your knees too much. You must hold your feet straight or in a stretched situation. Try not to lean too far back or you will lose your balance and fall.
I studied Physical Education at INEF in Barcelona. I am passionate about sport and healthy living and I like to share my passion and experience with anyone who is interested. I am a specialist in toning and bodybuilding, so I can advise at all times. In addition, I am part of the FEEPYF (Spanish Federation of Personal Trainers and Fitness).