When I first came up with the title for this blog (I’ts All in the Arms), my mind immediately shifted to a scene from the move, “Happy Gillmore,” were Chubbs is teaching Happy how to golf by saying, “It’s all in the hips.”
I remember when I was playing HS basketball, my dad would always say, “legs, bellybutton, elbow, nose, wrist.” When shooting the ball, you bend your knees, and then you line up your elbow with your bellybutton and nose and then snap your wrist down. All this together, made for the perfect shot. Most would have never thought that your bellybutton and nose would be key body parts in shooting a basketball…but, they are!
When someone thinks about running, the first body parts that come to mind are legs and feet. This is only obvious, as your feet and legs are what propel your forward and keep you moving. Without them, running is impossible. But, have you ever thought about how important your arms are? Yes, your arms…those awkward things that hang at the side of your body. For most, they seem to just bounce along with the rhythm of your feet and do nothing.
I used to be one of those runners who never quite knew what to do with my arms. In Jr. high and high school, I was criticized for my “high arms.” My natural tendency was to run with my fists close to my shoulders. When I got tired, this was especially a problem. My shoulders would begin to hurt, making my hands go higher and higher. I even noticed that it got more difficult for me to breathe. I never knew what to do with my arms or how to fix the problem…it was very frustrating.
…Enter, the push-up. Yeah, that thing that you were always told to do in PE but never quite knew how, or whether to do “girl” ones or “boy” ones…your behind was always too high or too low…whatever.
…That was me. I avoided it because it always made me feel silly. I decided a few years ago that I was going to make it a goal to master this silly thing and do 30 push-ups every day, to strengthen my arms. And guess what?! It worked! As my arms got stronger, I no longer felt the urge to move my arms up when I got tired. In fact, it was my arms that helped me overcome the fatigue. I noticed that because I was able to control my arms, it opened up my lungs, and I was able to breathe easier.
Strong arms also helped my legs move faster…Yes, you read right. The faster your arms go; the faster your legs will go, too! Try it!…If your arms are tired, it makes it that much more difficult for you to move your legs.
So, when running, remember” It’s all in the arms!