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How is ChiRunning different from Pose Running?


Pose Running
Quick strides challenge a runner's cardiovascular system while sparing the jarring impact that comes with a longer gait.
Quick strides challenge a runner's cardiovascular system while sparing the jarring impact that comes with a longer gait.
Cathrin Mueller/Bongarts/Getty Images

Russian scientist and coach Nicholas Romanov developed the pose technique, which places an emphasis on proper form as a way to increase performance. Romanov's theory is based on observing athletes in other sports -- including ballet and martial arts -- and noticing how their movements were actually a series of poses. The more precise each pose, the more effective the athlete. Using this as the catalyst, he began pursuing the perfect series of movements to produce the ideal running form. He came to the conclusion that the best running form vertically aligns the head, shoulders and hips.

Like ChiRunning, pose running theoretically reduces injuries and stress on the body by maximizing efficiency and eliminating unnecessary movements. It teaches high cadence, which means shorter and quicker steps. So instead of long, reaching strides, pose runners focus on increasing their strides per minute. This is where speed comes from -- by increasing cadence, not by lengthening stride, which is how most casual runners generate speed.

This takes conditioning. Quick strides are more taxing on the cardiovascular system than long strides but significantly easier on the body. The idea is that time spent improving your cardio is a smaller price to pay than the injuries to knees, ankles and shins that can result from heavy, plodding steps.

Mastering the pose takes time, and the meticulous focus on proper mechanics makes pose running much more demanding for casual athletes. This method places more emphasis on muscle development to maintain form, and strength training has only recently become part of the endurance athlete's training regimen.

In the next section, we'll look at some of the similarities and differences between these two running styles.


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