Happy National Biomechanics Day!!
We know, we know - sometimes it seems like these strange “National [Blank] Days” are a little bit too much. There’s a National Plum Pudding Day (February 12), Ear Muffs Day (March 13), and More Herbs Less Salt Day (August 29). Usually, we opt to go about our lives without paying much mind to these “holidays.”
But National Biomechanics Day (April 6) is one national day we believe is actually worthy of attention. Hear us out. Defined as “the study of the action of external and internal forces on the living body,” our biomechanics can make or break our physical wellness, energy levels, and even the ability of the body to function properly. We geek out about biomechanics at Spring because, unlike hot dogs or ear muffs, good biomechanics are essential to the well-being every single human, whether they’re an athlete or not. Good biomechanics while exercising in particular can make you go faster, work out longer, and greatly decrease your risk for injury - all while expending no extra energy whatsoever
Not convinced? Here are just three biomechanical changes for you to implement on your next workout - and yes, they apply to runners and walkers alike.
Increase cadence, decrease stride length
If you’ve been using Spring for any period of time, it’s highly likely you’ve heard this before! Yet there’s no overstating it. Increasing your cadence is the easiest way to improve biomechanics, speed and efficiency. It also leads to decreased stride length, which better distributes your body weight and impact on your joints, therefore making injury far less of a risk.
LEVEL UP: Increasing cadence will enable you to improve your footfall, allowing you to land on the front instead of the heel of your foot. Though it may feel awkward at first, this too will decrease joint load and allow you to exercise for longer.
Relax your arms
Let your arms hang at a 90 degree angle, and swing like a pendulum in time with your cadence. Don’t cross them over your body as you move, instead keeping them on a back-and-forth plane with your legs.
LEVEL UP: Extend this relaxation to your hands. They shouldn’t be in a fist position, nor a straight-fingered karate chop - instead, go for a relaxed cup with your thumb barely touching your forefinger.
Engage your core
Don’t let your torso swing from side to side as you move, instead engaging your abdominals to ensure it faces forward. Your torso forms the core of energy from which your legs and arms make moves. Keeping it tree-trunk solid is the perfect foundation for correct full-body biomechanics.
LEVEL UP: Let that tree trunk grow tall! Standing tall instead of slouching along, even when you’re tired, will lead to less soreness in the following days (while also allowing you to keep your eyes on the road).
And that doesn’t even touch on the biomechanics of sitting, standing or engaging in other forms of exercise, all of which are crucial to keep our bodies up and running smoothly. National Biomechanics Day may come but once a year, but really, it’s something we should be thinking about every day. So pop open a (water) bottle today, and hit the road in celebration of NBMD!