Running backwards makes an appearance every once
in a while as the latest fitness trend.
With the exception of white-knuckle rides, Beatles tracks and childbirth, few things are better backwards.Running backward burns more calories—30 percent more—because it is a less efficient movement than running forward. Along those lines, a latest study has concluded that “backward locomotion training” improves cardiovascular fitness and helps get rid of body fat, at least in young women. Also if you’re suffering from running-related joint pain, but want to keep up your fitness and runner’s body, going in reverse may be for you.
The latest study on backward running came out last June in the Journal of Biomechanics, followed by a piece in the New York Times Magazine. In the study, researchers in the UK found that backward running reduces forces acting on the front of the knee, making it a good alternative exercise for runners suffering from patello femoral pain, or “runner’s knee.” A 2011 study found that backward running is gentler on joints than normal running because it results in a soft landing.
The findings of two studies, one published in 2011 by researchers from the University of Milan and another by scientists from Cardiff University in Wales last year, suggest that reverse runners pound the earth more softly, thereby reducing the risk of knee injuries. Scientists from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa found that joggers who ran 15 to 45 minutes backwards, three times a week over the course of six weeks, were found to lose up to 2.5% of their body weight by switching to retro running alone.
"It is a great way to cool down; it helps improve balance and promotes better neuromuscular efficiency,". "It is the perfect remedy to help cure the frequent deficiency between anterior and posterior chain muscle groups – the hamstrings/calves and quads.
This switch in movement also helps the body's antagonistic (opposing) muscles function like the agonistic (contracting) muscles. Overall, backward running will produce a far better relationship between your muscles and help deliver more power, safely.
For backward walking/running, an important point is not to bend the knee, but it is recommended to try to keep your feet straight or in stretched position. Backward walking does not require long distance, which means you can do it anywhere, at your backyard or at the top of your office building during snack time.The drawback, of course, is a lack of hindsight. We recommend that newcomers to backward walking or running do it gradually on a track to avoid potholes, signs, cars and other hazards.
* Entails less of the pounding associated with regular jogging and, unspiringly, gobbles up 20 per cent more calories than running forwards.* Less harmful to his joints than the forward motion.
* Your balance improves and so does your peripheral vision and even your hearing as you become more attuned to what's happening around you.
* Gives you incredibly well-toned calf and thigh muscles, but it doesn't strain the Achilles tendon like regular running.
* The fear of falling down.
* The fear of being blindsided means you are constantly twisting to see where you are going.
* Backwards running also requires more focus - " You can't switch off ".
* It's more mentally exhausting than that meditative zone you can hit running forwards.
* Other runners look at you as if you are mad - and then you spot them a few minutes later having a go at it themselves. It's addictive.
Basics for backward running ....
1. Choose a flat, wide running surface that is free of potholes and obstacles.
2. Identify a distance of 50 to 100 metres beforehand and walk it to check for any dips or rocks.
3. Lean back slightly as you run, pushing off from your forefoot to drive backwards. Let the ball of the foot contact first, then allow the heel to touch just briefly.
4. Try not to look behind too often. Take a glance every six to eight paces to start.
5. Start off slowly - running backwards doesn’t mean that you can’t run at a quicker pace, but don’t aim for speed during your first few attempts. Begin by running small distances to figure out how your body moves and make sure that you’re pushing yourself with the balls of your feet. Finally, remember never to attempt this on a treadmill - if something goes wrong, your hands won’t be anywhere near the control panel, putting you at a serious risk of falling down !
6. Begin by incorporating some backward running into your warm-up. Gradually increase the time and distance.
Once a popular sport, running backwards has several health and fitness benefits.
The next time you’re walking or jogging and see someone running backwards, don’t stop in awe — they’re only trying to increase their fitness while reducing their risk of suffering from injuries. Backward running was once a popular sport, with competitive races being held in UK. While the fad of racing while running in reverse didn’t last long, backward running, which is also called retro running, has been a steady fitness trend for a few years now.
Retro running can help to boost your stamina, strengthen your leg muscles, make you faster, enhance balance and add variety to your workout.