Arm Swing!: I've just done my first run of Week... - Couch to 5K

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Arm Swing!


I've just done my first run of Week 2-Yay! Keeping running for all of 90 seconds was a fair challenge, and I found myself using my arms much more to help with momentum. Infact, I actually felt like a really exaggerated and over-the-top movement, but really seemed to help, in much the way you'd really use your arms in a very dynamic way if you were sprinting (but I was just doing a very gentle jog). Do you think that's usual? Is that something you would do if you were putting in miles? Or would it use up on much energy?

12 Replies

I swing my arms but focus on keeping them relaxed and no tension in my shoulders. Well done on Day one of week two!

Blue-Jay in reply to kesmcg

Thank you! Thanks for the tip, that's good advice! ☺


Hello & well done on getting into this! I'm not qualified to answer your questions as I am only a recent graduate myself, but I will say I have also found a certain amount of arm movement both inevitable & possibly useful. Not flailing around, but somehow acting a bit like a kind of upper-body pendulum. I really notice the difference when I am running pushing my buggy (with baby in!) as obviously I can't move my arms & I think I have a tendency to bounce a little more, which is to be avoided if poss. So maybe the arm-swinging helps reduce whole-body bounce? I do feel like I'm giving my arms a mini workout too. It'll be interesting to see how others respond!

Blue-Jay in reply to SunnyMummy

Yes, I agree that it's like a pendulum. And well done getting out running with your baby. I had hoped to do that with my first, a few years ago but was always way too knackered! I'm really impressed! 👍


Hi there and well done :)

On the C25K site there is a suggestion for arm position... it is a natural easy position and works well to push you forward. The emphasis is on being relaxed:)

"Your arms should be bent at a 90-degree angle. Try to swing them forward and back, not across your body. The arm movement helps to propel you forward, so swinging them sideways is a waste of energy"

I use my arms in a dynamic way, especially when I need to find a bit of extra whumph on my longer runs! Just try to relax your shoulders, and fists.. ( someone on here said imagine that you are holding a bag of crisps, but trying not to crush them !

You are doing just fine... :)

Blue-Jay in reply to Oldfloss

Wow, thanks for the great info and encouragement! I love the bag of crisps idea, I'll remember that! 😁


I always use my arm especially if I am finding it tough. It does use more energy but it is how I am used to keeping moving - when I find it tough to run, I pretend I am swimming :)

I wonder if those that like eating could see if chewing keeps us going?

Blue-Jay in reply to nikkiwabit

I think I've using my arms like steam train pistons!

And maybe a bit of furious eye blinking would add a bit of a turbo charge?! 😁


When I started doing C25K and needed a distraction when I was flagging, I used to imagine that I had my hands around levers (a bit like walking poles or ski poles) which I pulled back to scoot myself forwards. This also helped remind me to relax my fists, because there wouldn't be room for the levers if I clenched my hands too tightly! I don't 'use the levers' anymore but the arm movement has become a habit.

You sound like you're enjoying your running. That's great!

Blue-Jay in reply to Dpsl

I like the idea of imaginary poles to propel yourself. Sounds like employing the arms more is a common strategy. And yes, I am enjoying it! I don't like the Week 2 music as much as W1 though. But maybe it will grow on me!


Another good thing about your arms are that your feet tend to follow the "swing rate" So if you're looking to increase your running cadence (steps per minutes) you can try swinging your arms a bit quicker and your feet should follow :-)

Blue-Jay in reply to AndyD

That's interesting, thanks for that piece of info! ☺

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