Running like all actions should not come from power but from stretch and recoil if you slam the door and the hinges on the wall are lose the floor will wobble around and hit the floor. If you slam the door and the hinges on the wall are tight and firm the whole energy of the action goes into the doorframe. If you put your foot on the floor as you run and your body is collapsing above and bending at the waist and rounding over at the chest you are losing the energy to drive yourself forwards.
It is however all very well to say engage the core and keep strong, but the position one is stabilising is so important, if the back is not in neutral then the hip flexors cannot truly open and stretch, which is essential for recoil to come into effect and swing the leg through. It is essential for the hip flexors and glutes to have something to work against in order to have any form of pull for the legs to be as effective as they can. So the pelvis needs to be vertical, and travelling at 90degrees to the direction of travel. No twisting at the waist and not tilting up and down – both of these actions cause wear and tear on the back and will end up with discs being over loaded.
If you engage your glutes, engage your core and engage your upper back muscles so that your torso remains stable and strong the power of the movement of the glutes contracting will drive the body forwards
In essence, this is quite a simple thing to change however in practice one is altering so many habits and ways that it actually becomes quite difficult. If you look at sprinters they all have a vertical body with a strong core and they rotate the shoulders in order to pump the abdominal muscles to bring the leg up and help move the body forwards
It is easy to say strengthen the core and strengthen the glutes but unless these exercises are actually done correctly with the correct mind focus as well as firing order the optimum result is not achieved. Engaging the mind whilst improving one’s technique is vital to visualise what one should be doing.
Good exercises for improving the core should come after one has understood and succedded in achieving neutral spine. Then exercises such as plank, knee tucks, the TRX is a useful piece of equipment, torso lean backs, etc. If you are worried how to perform these exercises consult a trainer or get in touch and we can help you.