Running backwards to move forward

The universe, nature, the human body, animals and matter itself work essentially on the alternating rhythms of contraction and expansion, exhalation and inspiration, reflux and flow. Retro running, also known in English as backward running and reverse running, is simply a backward run. It's not as famous as barefoot running, and it's not to be confused with retro running sneakers, that takes up the lines and style of past decades which have become very common in recent years. By learning to systematically alternate between running backwards and running forwards in your workout you will get more benefit, in accordance with great universal rhythms. Like the waves of the ocean, this continuous alternation of flow and reflux, running backwards and forwards gradually leads the athlete to greater beauty, balance, creativity and finally to greater harmony in life. Let's try running backwards to move forward.

How do you run backwards?

In retro running mode, you run while keeping your lower limbs parallel to the direction of travel, but your shoulders and head should be rotated to keep your path under control, even though the best retro runners hardly ever turn it. Because the head is facing forward, the runner doesn’t see anything on the ground or in the way of their path in the backward run. Unlike running forward, it is also much more difficult to deal with a fall backwards if you stumble.  Turning your head while running can generally eliminate the visual impediment, although It is embarrassing, limits speed and can lead to tensions in the neck.

Practicing rolling and exercising force backwards with your arms through various exercises such as crab walking or axes can help stop damage or injury from falls. Today, retro running is an established discipline, thanks to some teams of scientists who have ascertained the validity of the practice in safety.

Quality of retro running

To demonstrate the effectiveness of retro running a research study done by the University of Milan in 2011 found that in retro running there is more force in the thrust and less in the braking with a positive impact on the joints. The muscle is the engine, the levers the car. In a forward run there are less "workers" involved, that is less muscle fibres, subjected to greater efforts, with less consumption and better performance, but more likely to suffer injuries; vice versa in the backward race there are many more muscle fibres, subjected to less effort, with more consumption and less performance, but less likely that the "workers" will suffer damage.

Running backwards is a very good option for runners who are passionate but have knee problems: a further study in 2012 showed that running backwards detects a lower impact on the knees and burns more calories at a given rate. Students at an American university who replaced their normal workout with a backward run for 15-45 minutes three times a week for six weeks lost 2.5 percent of their body fat.

7 benefits of retro running

If the goal of retro running is to improve the results of a normal cardio arrival (running, cycling, etc.) then the backward run seems to be the most important one. Let's summarise some of the recognised benefits of this alternative running technique:

  •  Improves posture: Running backwards leads to a natural change of posture: running backwards will require you to stand more upright, correcting your posture during the forward run.
  • Better oxygenation: 84% VO2 in backward running vs. 60% VO2 in forward running;
  • Better results for losing weight: If the reason for your workout is to lose the extra pounds, then retro-running is the fitness regime you were looking for: running backwards helps burn about 30% more calories than running forward. So, running backwards has great effects in burning calories.
  • Reduces impact with the ground and related injuries (knee, ligaments)
  • Better performance: When running backwards, more effort is needed in terms of movement, as it is more difficult to move from one point to another. This increases cardiovascular efficiency and improves endurance
  • It reduces boredom: running for long miles can be a tedious activity. Adding running backwards to your routine is fun and exciting: you will have health benefits and your mind will be busy throughout the running session.
  • Muscle Growth: Running backwards not only strengthens your muscles, but makes calf muscles, quadriceps and shins more balanced as you reach greater muscle strength.

Use SKILLMILL to experience cardio training at its most powerful

Born from Technogym's twenty years of experience as an official supplier of fitness equipment at the Olympic Games, SKILLMILL is the first running product that allows athletes to improve power, speed, endurance and agility in a safe, engaging and effective way. A solution that offers the possibility to vary exercises, to build training sessions that increase athletic performance.
The addition of resistance increases oxygen consumption: walking with resistance on SKILLMILL significantly increases energy expenditure compared to walking at the same speed on a traditional treadmill or on a non-motorised treadmill without resistance.
Studies of electromyography reveal a significantly higher activation value of the posterior chain of muscles of the lower limbs, particularly the buttock muscles and knee tendons when compared with traditional treadmills. The sled pushing exercise shows activation levels as beneficial as the gluteus exercises you can perform such as squats on your knees, deadlifts and sumo deadlifts. Among the training options possible with SKILLMILL is the backward walk with belt.

The athlete trains by pulling on the straps and holding on to the rings and walking backwards.

Based on the Technogym Ability Training approach, which combines traditional physiology with functional training to provide a safe and effective method for gradual improvement, SKILLMILL allows a wide variety of possibilities to train and progress regardless of their skill level.

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