As I’ve mentioned before, I’m notoriously bad for rotating my torso when I run. The thing is, when I went to see the physio the other month, he told me that I do it because my arms don’t swing ‘equally’. That is to say, my right arm swings forwards naturally, whilst my left arm stays very close to my side, almost immobile at times. As a result, I twist my body sideways when I run, causing my hips and knees and feet to compensate, which results in the various aches and pains I get (fun times!)
I came across an article recently that made me really think about WHY this happens: ‘Is running with a hand-held bottle slowing you down?‘
For the record, I don’t completely agree with the title – though it’s an interesting point. What stood out to me what the point they make about upper-body movement:
“.. If you run holding a water bottle, notice if the arm you hold the water bottle in moves less than your other arm ..”
Coincidentally, my I carry my water bottle in my left hand (I don’t tend to ever switch sides) .. But I would be very surprised if the solution to (one of) my posture problems was caused by something so simple! Even so, it might be worth switching hands just to see if my posture changes at all. Running technique is all about trial and error, after all!
As for the speed thing, I have no idea whether a little water bottle would really make that much difference? Personally, I’m not a very fast runner with or without, and whilst my fastest mile times are from Parkrun (where I don’t carry a bottle), I’d imagine this is more due to the fact that 5k is a shorter distance than most of my other runs?
Do you carry a water bottle when running? Have you ever noticed a change in your upper-body posture (or speed) as a result?