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Retrorunning: the most amazing benefits of running backwards

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Retrorunning: the most amazing benefits of running backwards
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Are you used to running and do you know its most popular modalities? Believe it or not, more people are encouraged to run face to face, better known as retrorunning, a plurality of running very popular in the Japanese country and Europe. The Japanese have been walking and running face down for centuries as part of their daily exercise routine. In Europe we can find numerous races where you can run face down, from short sprints to whole marathons.

Here’s what makes retrorunning so special and its incredible benefits so special.

Why is it good to run head back?

If you’re just starting to run, it might be best to start in this mode later. However, if you already have a little more experience in running, you will be interested to know that there are many benefits to running backwards. Below is a list of the most important ones:

  1. You can do it even if you’re injured. There is nothing worse than knowing that you cannot run because of pain in a certain part of your body. But the race can be done face to face even if we have injuries to the groin, hamstring, knee, achilles ligament or ankle.
  2. 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 greater. But not only is this technique a good way to lose more calories, but you will also lose more calories in a shorter period of time. A recent study, conducted with university athletes who replaced their exercise with running face back, lost two with five percent of their anatomical fat in 6 weeks. They conducted 3 sessions per week and these lasted between fifteen and forty-five minutes.
  3. You’ll improve your muscle balance. Running face back will strengthen the opposing muscle sets that usually work face forward. Running face forward puts a lot of pressure on the knees and hamstrings. Running on your back will strengthen your calves, shins and thighs, providing greater muscle balance.
  4. Improves the speed of your legs and your performance. Running face to face requires more care in concept of movement as it is more difficult to move from one point to another. This care also translates into improved cardiovascular efficiency and increased endurance.
  5. You will improve your body posture. Many runners tilt their heads too much or lean too far forward. This is especially true when they are tired, which can lead to back pain. But running face back will keep our backs straight as we move. An added benefit of running in this posture is that we will also be working the abdominal muscles.
  6. You will develop your senses. Since you can’t see what’s behind it when you’re running, it’s essential to use other senses to help guide you. Running face to face will sharpen your sense of hearing and your peripheral vision, among other senses.
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Precautions to be taken before retrorunning

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While there are many reasons why running backwards is beneficial, there are also dangers to 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 slow you down and end up damaging your neck. The most common threats are tripping over an object or falling into a hole.

In any and all ways, you must not let these dangers stop you. If you’re a beginner, start running on the treadmill and then, as soon as you feel safe, go for a run on the street. However, to avoid this kind of incident, follow these 3 tips to practice retrorunning:

  1. Run somewhere safe, like a road. This is a great idea for several reasons. In general, the roads are well kept, so you won’t find any stones, tree branches or holes around you. Besides this, they are far from traffic and there are not usually enough people.
  2. Start by walking. Because the movement of running face to face is absolutely different from running face to face, you should familiarize yourself with this movement even before you start the race. Once you feel comfortable, start with short, slow runs.
  3. Check your posture. Don’t bend your knees too far. You should hold your feet straight or in a straight situation. Try not to lean too far back or you will lose your balance and fall.


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