Nothing in Hollywood is ever as it seems. Good lighting and award-winning writers can turn an everyday Joe into a superhero or a villain. But the one big mistake any avid runner notices when they’re intently watching the latest blockbuster on the big screen? How terrible that superhero’s running form is.
We’ve picked out some of the most iconic runs in Hollywood — good and bad — and brought in our running expert Rebecca Shultz to take a closer look at how each character fares.
Phoebe and Rachel from Friends
Okay, so Phoebe isn’t known for being normal, and her run certainly reflects that. Yet because of the dramatic stride width and heavy steps, she’s risking serious injury to her knees and hips. Her running buddy Rachel has it right, keeping her feet directly below her body and maintaining the right amount of bounce in her step to minimize impact. However Rachel’s form isn’t perfect – she could benefit from picking up her feet and increasing her stride length. At this pace, she looks like a shuffler.
While easy on the eyes, this Baywatch lifeguard’s run could still use some work. Likely due to the increased resistance from running in sand, he appears to be rotating his hips to power himself forward. He also is crossing the midline with every step which is being reflected in his arm swing. Needing to counterbalance his legs, his arms are swing side to side — which wastes critical energy needed to save lives!
Forrest probably turned around to run home because his hips were sore. His steps are closer to shuffles at this point of his run. He also appears to be using his arms to drive himself forward as he runs. He’s likely starting to feel fatigued from his thousand mile run, and it’s impacting his form.
The Flash is running so fast, you can’t see his forward pelvic tilt when he runs. Yet because he’s sprinting, his body is leaning forward and tilting his pelvis to gain speed. The high knees are also likely causing him to step heavily, increasing the likelihood of a knee injury. He has a great push off with full extension at the hip, knee and ankle. Something we should all strive for!
Seth Rogen’s character in Superbad is not enjoying his gym class laps. Focusing on his form might have made them a little easier. All this extra movement of the arms and feet are wasting energy and working against him in this tired state. He also lands with a heavy heel strike putting a lot of stress on this knees. He should focus on running taller and pick his feet up more. It will probably feel less tiring than his current movement pattern.
Chariots of Fire
The ultimate running movie, Chariots of Fire, shows some great running form — its main characters are training for the Olympics, after all. In this GIF, the runner on the left does have a slight twist to his hips, though it’s likely due to the fact that the team is running ankle-deep in water. For the most part, the runners have great cadence and running posture and could teach the rest of the actors a few things on running form.
The Real Heroes…
So what can we learn from Hollywood runners? That even superheroes and regular heroes struggle with running form. Lumo Run is here to help anyone track and maintain their running form to reduce the risk of injury and set their goals even higher. Check out the video below.
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