5 steps to run well and properly: The Mike Chang methods

1. Stretch. Make sure you do lots of stretching throughout the whole body, particularly the lower half. Start from the ankles by twisting them in circles both clockwise and counter-clockwise and move onto the knees and then the hips. Do each direction for each area 7 times. Also, make sure to stretch out your legs, thighs and glutes to the point where they get loose and relaxed. Make sure to stretch out the stomach muscles and arm/shoulder muscles as well as people often tense in those areas when running.

2. Walk 1-2 minutes before actually starting the running. For advanced runners it may be ok to go straight into things, but in general, it is not good for the body to immediately go into full gear without warming up first. Like a car being turned on after sitting all night in winter, it needs time to get warmed up and ready to be driven. Otherwise, expect to feel stiff and increase the risk of your body getting injured.

3. Watch your steps. Most people think the proper method for running is heel-toe. This is actually bad for your body. The proper way is to actually land in the middle of your foot where the arch is so that your foot can act as a spring for the body. Many people have knee problems from doing the heel-toe method and think that it’s coming from their knees when in fact it is coming from their feet. The motion of landing right on the middle of the foot may seem odd at first, as if you are going up and down or dragging your feet, but once you get used to it you feel a huge difference in the comfort of your whole lower body. Concentrate on this and make the feet move along the treadmill or wherever you are training as if your feet are sinking in and moving along with the treadmill.

4. Less arm movements. When a lot of people run their arms move back and forth a lot. This in fact is not right as it exerts a lot of energy from the body and also causes you to be imbalanced. Swinging the arms a lot also puts more pressure on the lower body as it stresses muscles in the hips. Keep your arms up and locked to the side in a comfortable manner so that you can focus on moving forward instead from side to side. Expect to see your energy pick up for running.

5. Breath. Pace your breath and be conscious of how much you are breathing and how often. It is best that you pick a rhythm, such as breathing in every 3 steps and breathing out another 3 steps. This will seem easy at first but will gradually get harder the further you run. However, this will help pace yourself and keep you balanced throughout the run.

Following these 5 steps are simple but bring in great results, just like most things Mike Chang teaches. If followed properly, expect to see yourself running longer and more intense, which will also lower body fat and help you get even more toned and ripped.

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