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Backward running; the why and how to program for better athleticism

Uthoff, Aaron PhD (cand) CSCS1; Oliver, Jon PhD1,2; Cronin, John PhD1; Winwood, Paul PhD1,3; Harrison, Craig PhD1

doi: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000459
Article: PDF Only

Abstract: Backward running (BR) is a common locomotive technique used by most over-ground athletes during both competition and training, yet there are limited empirically based recommendations for using BR training for athletes. This article highlights the role of BR in sports context, provides insights into why BR may benefit athletes and recommends how to integrate BR into strength and conditioning programs. Informed guidance is provided on the practical applications for athletes, which should help speed and strength coaches design and facilitate BR in a safe and progressively overloaded fashion for youth and adult athletes alike.

1Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ) AUT Millennium AUT University Auckland New Zealand

2Youth Physical Development Centre School of Sport Cardiff Metropolitan University Cyncoed Campus Cyncoed Road Cardiff CF23 6XD United Kingdom

3Department of Sport and Fitness Faculty of Community Wellbeing and Development Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Tauranga New Zealand

Corresponding Author: Aaron Uthoff, MSc, CSCS Tel: +64 7 578 4029 Fax: +64 7 578 4853 Email:

© 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association