Running is one of the most popular ways for people to get their cardio – an important part of weight loss. You’ll often see men and women running down the street or around the park, headphones in ears and huffing and puffing away. Running can be a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to get in shape. You can run at top speed to do some high intensity training, or you can jog to get low intensity steady state aerobics – one of the best forms of exercise to mobilize and burn fat.
But have you ever seen anyone running backwards?
Running backwards may sound incredibly ridiculous, and you can bet your boots that it definitely looks silly. However, you’d be amazed at what a great workout it can be!
Running backwards works your muscles from a completely different angle. It forces your calves to do a lot more work, and your quads have to push backward rather than absorb the impact of your forward stride. You’ll find that your legs tire out a whole lot more quickly, and you’ll get a brand new type of workout.
Running backwards is supposed to burn more calories and help your lungs to use oxygen more efficiently. The fact that you’ll be running slower means that you’ll be able to breathe more easily, but you’ll be burning calories in your quads – one of the largest muscle groups in the body. You’ll be amazed by how tired you feel after a few hundred yards of running backwards, and you’ll notice the results quickly.
Running backwards can help to reduce the impact on your knees. When you run normally, you lean your head and shoulders forward – using your legs to absorb a lot of the impact of each stride. When you run backwards, there is a lot less stress placed on your knees. You end up using your ankles and calves more, thereby giving your knees a break.
It’s an interesting twist on a classic workout, so it’s definitely worth considering if you want to add some spice to your daily cardio workout!
The Backwards Run Workouts
To work out with the backwards run, start out by sprinting or running forward. Try and reach a quarter-mile, and do it at top speed. Your goal is to run as fast as possible, and reach that quarter-mile mark without reducing your speed.
Once you reach the marker, give yourself a 2-minute rest period to recover, and run the entire track backwards. You should strive to run around the track in less than twice the time that you took to run it forwards. For example, if it took you 2 minutes to run the quarter-mile, do it backwards in less than 4 minutes backwards. It’s tough, but it’s a great cardio workout that will torch those leg muscles as well!
How to Do It Safely
You’ll find that running backwards can be a bit hazardous if you’re out on the street, so it’s best to do it on a track, on a running path, or around a park. Find a controlled environment where there is little risk of tripping on an uneven track.
Your neck is probably going to get very tired from looking behind you, so make sure to twist your neck in both directions as you run. Don’t hold it in the same position for too long, and try to look forward whenever you can. It can strain your neck and shoulder muscles, which can tire you out more quickly.
Do this exercise right, and you’ll be amazed at how useful it is for adding spice and variety to your cardiorespiratory exercise!