Moving your arms seems like a normal thing to do while running. You get motivated to get up and go outside, and the moment you start running, your arms just naturally begin to follow the movements of your legs like you are performing a synchronized dance, but why do we do that?
And most importantly, do we really need to use our arms for running? If you are someone that wonders whether arm movement while running is really necessary, then stick around to find out the answer to your question.
- Running without moving your arms is okay, however, it does not provide enough benefits except for more calorie burn which can also be achieved by using your arms as well.
- Running without using your arms will take up more energy from you which will lead to extreme tiredness after only a short running session.
- Running with your arms will increase torso and hip stability.
- Your arms can build up momentum for a run and act as a propeller. This is done by swinging your arms from side to side in a fast motion which is called the pumping arm motion.
- The arms and the legs work hand to hand, and in order to run better, cause less injury to your body, and also have a better running form, the arms need to be used as well.
Is running without moving your arms, okay?
Yes, running without using your arms is okay, however; it is not really necessary. For a long time, it was believed that running without using your arms will increase your speed and make you run faster, but with so much research done on running; this belief was finally debunked.
In fact, it is proven that the only reason why moving without your arms would be okay is if you want to lose weight faster, but it is not recommended. Although slower, normal running with arms can do the same, and you will have fewer risks as well.
Running without using your arms would mean that you will have to use other parts of the body instead, specifically, with every step that you take, the torso zone can get more and more exhausted after constant rotation of the body that will have to be done as a replacement for arm movements. And in the end, you will spend more time stopping to take breaths than actually running.
Also Read: Falling While Running
Does moving your arms make you run faster?
In the sense, yes. Moving your arms will make you run faster. This is mostly because you interconnect the moves of your legs and arms, this provides better momentum for your runs, better balance, and stability.
Swinging your arms also gives you a boost when you become tired from running. Anytime you start to feel the tiredness in your legs and feel like you are going slower, swinging your arms faster will also make you feel the tiredness in your body less.
This method is called arm pumping which means that you pump up more energy and speed by swinging your arms.
This method has been widely used by sprinters, who switched to arm pumping to get their running momentum back when they start to feel their legs weaken after some time of running.
This is why many people have implemented the arm-pumping method into their everyday workouts as well.
Why do people move their arms while running?
It seems that moving your arms while running comes naturally, right? Well, there is an actual explanation for that ability. As said before, moving your arms causes momentum that helps you run quicker. They provide more stability, balance, and power, to continue running.
Since we bend our arms while running, this also takes less energy from us, and naturally, the body will choose the movement that requires less energy to produce.
The arms provide stability to the hips and torso, so your body will be less likely to wobble. Using your arms while running will make an impact on your running form, so you will have less of a chance to cause an injury to your body, like a chronic lower back problem.
Do arms matter in running?
Yes, extremely so. Just like how they are important for walking, they are also important for running. Arms that are located at a 70 to 90-degree angle at the side of your hips help propel you forward while running.
Using your arms makes the running process easier to do because it stabilizes the body. Working out your upper body part, especially your arms, is essential for better and faster running since the pumping motion of the arms creates an ease to the lower part of the body.
On the other hand, if you do not run with your arms, you will feel the lower part of the body be more exhausted. Although not moving your arms may contribute to a weight loss journey, the chances of causing hip problems are also more likely to happen which will lead to stress on joints.
Also Read: Running After 50
Although it is possible to run without your arms, it is certainly not needed. The arms hold a huge role in the formation of all the running motions and act as a great booster and propeller.
It is safe to say that you cannot run without using your arms. The legs and the arms are so linked together that doing one thing without the other will not only not feel right, but it will also leave you with a disadvantage.
In that case, you’ll start feeling more tired, and feeling like you use more energy out of your body while running without the help of your arms.
If you have arm problems, like a broken bone, on the day of your run, and feel like you cannot move them without feeling excruciating pain, then sure, you can run without using your arms for a couple of days or weeks.
It takes two to tango though, and a slight help from your arms will do wonders for your legs.
It’s been more than 15 years, and I’ve been running 3-4 times a week ever since then. I’ve achieved goals, won marathons, went through injuries and learnt a lot along the way. That’s why, I created Suzlyfe together with my husband (Ken) to share my findings and help others reach their goals. Both me and my husband are avid runners, and it’s a big part of our life.