Different Running Styles

Different Running Styles

Running is an activity that can be done almost anywhere, and over the years, different running techniques have been developed to help reduce injury and impact on the body. These techniques may not be for everyone, and research needs to be done to see how different styles affect the body. Before starting a running regimen or adjusting your running style, talk with a health care professional.

Chi Running

Chi running was developed by Danny Dreyer and takes an approach to running that involves the ideas and principles of yoga, tai chi and Pilates. Mindfulness is important as well as integrating the body and mind during running, working core muscles and focusing on long-term progress, states the Chi Running website. The method involves focusing on postural alignment and relaxation, landing with a midfoot strike, leaning forward slightly and using core muscles instead of leg strength to move forward. This is said to help reduce risk of injury, help those with previous running injuries and ease the impact on the legs and body.

Pose Running

Pose running is similar to Chi running with slight differences. According to Posetech.com, characteristics of pose running include having your body in an S-like position with your knees slightly bent. Leaning forward from the ankles, lift your feet up under your hips but not behind your buttocks, and land on the ball of your foot directly under your body or center of gravity. Proponents of this method claim it reduces impact on your knees, helps prevent injuries, improves your training and can help you eliminate your need to use orthotics.

Natural Running

Natural running, also called barefoot running, is the style of running in which you land on your midfoot instead of your heel. If you run barefoot, you'll naturally land on our midfoot, as decades of wearing overly cushioned shoes have turned runners into heel strikers. "Running Times" magazine states that over time, running this way can lead to a reduction in overuse injuries because heel striking causes more impact on the body. Different adjustments to this style involve landing directly under the hips or using a shorter stride.


Learning to run with the Chi method and the Pose running techniques can be challenging, but there may be workshops in your area held by local specialty running stores that provide instruction on proper technique. Learn correct technique to reduce your risk of injury. Learning to land on your midfoot instead of your heel may feel different, but over time, it may make your running more efficient, says "Running Times." Before adjusting your running gait, talk with your doctor or a physical therapist to see if you should change your running style.