Backward running, also known as backwards running, running backwards, reverse running, retro running, or retro locomotion is the act of running in reverse, so that one travels in the direction one's back is facing rather than one's front. It is classed as a retro movement, the reverse of any normal movement. Non-English names include Rückwartslaufen (German) and Marcha reversiva.
Backward running is a less natural motion, but can be accomplished with some speed with practice. It is better to start out backward walking (also called retropedaling), which is relatively easy, and speed up. Like normal running, running up and down hills backwards will add an additional degree of difficulty.
Running backwards up a hill is not very dangerous. It will always be at a lower speed due to the enhanced difficulty, and if one trips there is less of a distance towards the ground and it is easier to absorb the impact with the arms and buttocks so that the head is not as likely to hit.
Running backwards down a hill is more dangerous, and it is advised that someone learn how to drop into a backward roll before attempting it, to deal with any resulting tripping or loss of balance in the prone movement. Although the distance to the ground is greater running downhill backwards, the incline makes it much easier to perform rolls in downhill running, than when running level ground, so it can be done more instinctively. This applies to backward running and the backroll as it does to front running and the front roll.
As the head faces forward, running backwards has the danger in that the runner cannot see anything on the ground or in the way of his or her path. Unlike forward running, it is also much more difficult to brace a backward fall or drop into a roll if one trips.
Turning the head around while running can generally eliminate the visual impediment, although it is awkward, limits speed, and may result in neck strain.
The combination of normal forward running and backward running is called mixed running or alternative mixed running. Some believe that running backwards helps balance out the strain brought on by normal running. Reversing the direction works the friction of tissues oppositely. Running flat or uphill, the heel is used to push off rather than the ball of the foot as normally occurs with forward runnining, working the tibialis anterior muscle (pushes the heel down, raises front of foot) more as a prime mover than a shock absorber. When running backward downhill, the ball of the foot is used whereas forward downhill running uses mainly the heel to absorb the force. This requires more coordination and therefor develops brain power along with muscle power.
While downhill backward running is essentially the reverse of uphill running, and uphill backward running of downhill running, they are different in that the fibres would fire differently due to differences in the isotonic motions. The former is an eccentric version of a concentric movement, and the latter is a concentric version of an eccentric movement. Both concentric and eccentric movements have advantages in training, which is why most weight lifters perform both for set times.
With all forms there is an obvious backward lean relative to normal running's forward lean, which can shift the stress of the other muscle fibres a small degree.
Other advantages to backward running are a reduction in fear related to the movement, a form of exercise that is naturally more reserved, gains in balance, and the general enjoyment resulting from entertaining activities like these. Due to constantly having to look behind oneself, or sometimes keeping the eyes fixed, people can learn to run with more neck mobility or without a straight look ahead. This can stress the neck muscles which can be dangerous if done too aggressively, but in the long term could lead to adaptations in them.
Backward running adds another dimension to running, and when complemented by sidestepping in both directions (with and without crossovers front and behind intermittently) covers the essential dimensions of human movement on the two-dimensional plane. Diagonal movement as well as curving running (as is done on long race tracks like 200 m and longer in the Olympics) are additional forms of running.
Backwards running allows referees in sports such as football or rugby to continuously observe an area of play without interfering with play.
Races in 2011
- Sunday 17th July 2011 - London Backward Running Championships, Crystal Palace, South London
- Sunday 14th August 2011 - 2nd UK Backward Running Championships, Heaton Park. Manchester
- 07-08/08/2010 - World Retro Running Championships, Kapfenberg, Austria
- 22/08/2010 - 1st UK Backward Running Championships, Manchester (Winner was Garret Doherty of Eire)
As of October 2011[update] an Australian feature film called Reverse Runner is in post production .
Outstanding backwards runners
- Garret Doherty (IRL)
- Roland Wegner (GER)
- Thomas Dold (GER)
- Slim Roberts (NED)
- Antja Strothmann (GER)
- Isabella Wagner (GER)
- Stefano Morselli (IT)
- Joshua Godkin (NZL)
- Bud Badyna (USA)
- Brian Godsey (USA)
- Brian Byers (USA)
- Jacob Staub (USA)
- Grady Williams (USA)
- Lawrence Madey (USA)
- Paula Mairer (AUT)
- Johannes Gosch (AUT)
- Simone Kühn (AUT)
- John Jones (AUS)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Backward induction — is the process of reasoning backwards in time, from the end of a problem or situation, to determine a sequence of optimal actions. It proceeds by first considering the last time a decision might be made and choosing what to do in any situation at … Wikipedia
Backward compatibility — In the context of telecommunications and computing, a device or technology is said to be backward or downward compatible if it can work with input generated by an older device. If products designed for the new standard can receive, read, view… … Wikipedia
Running — Runner redirects here. For other uses, see Runner (disambiguation). This article is about the type of locomotion in humans. For running in horses, see Horse gait. For locomotion in dogs, see Gait (dog). For general locomotion, see Gait. For other … Wikipedia
RUNNING INSERTS — In early silents, action shots were filmed with cameras on stationary platforms recording the scene as it transpired. Efforts to use mobile cameras were initially resisted as being artificial. Even William S. Hart’s films, while full of action … Westerns in Cinema
running — Synonyms and related words: acting, action, active, activity, actual, actuation, affluent, agency, agile, alive, articulated, as is, ascending, at work, authority, autograph, autographic, average, axial, back, back flowing, backward, being,… … Moby Thesaurus
running man — noun A dance move popular in the late 1980s to early 1990s, characterized running movements done in place with hands going in an alternating forward backward motion … Wiktionary
backward — Synonyms and related words: Micawberish, Olympian, a priori, a rebours, a reculons, about, afraid, aft, after, after time, aftermost, again, against the grain, ago, aloof, anticlockwise, apathetic, arear, around, arrested, arsy varsy, ascending,… … Moby Thesaurus
Outline of running — The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to running: Running – means of rapidly traveling on foot, in which at regular points during the running cycle both feet are off the ground. Running is a key component to a… … Wikipedia
Road running — in a U.S. Air Force marathon People taking part in the … Wikipedia
Cross country running — This article is about cross country running. For other uses, see Cross country. A high school cross country meet in Minnesota, United States. Cross country running is a sport in which runners race on open air courses over natural terrain. The… … Wikipedia