Pose Running Vs. Chi Running

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To improve as a distance runner, you obviously need to focus your training on the cardiovascular and leg-speed side of things -- covering increasingly longer distances, improving your all-out mile time and learning to conquer hills. That said, good running form is critical and often difficult to achieve. Toward the end of the 20th century, a couple of new programs arose to meet this need -- Pose Running and Chi Running.

Pose Running

The Pose Method, developed by Olympic coach Nicholas Ramanov in the 1970s in what was then the Soviet Union, is touted as a way to avoid injury and improve running performance through specific poses. You can hire Pose specialists and technicians throughout the United States. and Canada as well as overseas, and clinics are offered in a number of large and mid-sized cities. Its chief characteristics include an S-shaped posture with your knees slightly bent and a forward lean from the ankles. You lift your feet under your hips rather than behind your butt and ensure that your foot lands directly under your center of mass.

Chi Running

Chi Running, conceived by Danny Dreyer in 1999, blends the physical with the ethereal. Based on the movement principles of the ancient art of tai chi, which aims to harmonize the body, mind and spirit. Chi Running promoters claim that it can make your running more efficient and pain-free and therefore more enjoyable. In theory, by relying on your core muscles for stability and relaxing your joints, you need less energy to cover the same amount of ground in less time than when using the conventional running form.

Similarities and Differences

Both Pose Running and Chi Running stress that practicing a certain body position -- in both cases a forward lean from the waist -- and placing the feet directly under your center of gravity when landing can make you a more economical runner because you relax more and use downward-acting gravitational forces to your own advantage. Pose Running, however, involves what its name implies -- static positions -- to reinforce new form, while perfecting Chi Running means actually running using given principles. Each entails watching videos with or without in-person instruction along with way.


Although the websites of both of these techniques offer a number of testimonials touting their efficacy, neither enjoys the endorsement of any top-level distance runners or elite coaches. Similarly, neither Pose Running nor Chi Running, despite years of exposure, has been embraced by significant numbers of people at the high school or collegiate level..