Updated: May 9, 2021
So another tool or mechanism that you can play with while running is your pelvis. It rotates forward and back depending on how much you engage your lower abs and your lower back.
The theory behind this is that how or how much to rotate the pelvis is to imagine that your pelvis is like a cup or bowl full of water. As you run you want to make sure that the pelvis (or cup) is level so that none of the water falls out. If you lean or go up or down hill you will have to engage your lower abs or back differently to keep the pelvis level.
The story helps me remember to engage the pelvis, but like most of these mechanisms, it's important to listen to your body and see what works. As you collect more data about what works and what doesn’t, you’ll find the balance for the pelvis rotation that feels best for you. This is another aspect that you can play with, especially if you notice that something in your body isn’t feeling right like an ache or pain. If the ache or pain goes away when you rotate your pelvis, that may be an indicator that your pelvis was misaligned. Every body is different so it's important to listen to your, understand the messages it's sending you and then adjust for those messages.
Engaging your Core
This is a brief overview from another blog I wrote on Core Stability in the Run Basics Series. For more information read that blog.
Lower Abs - When I visualize engaging my lower abs, I like to think of my rib cage and my lower abs as a mouth. When I engage the lower core I think of closing that mouth by bringing the ribs to the lower core. Notice that as you engage your pelvis will also rotate up.
Glutes - For stability there are two ways I visualize engaging my glutes for running. The first is that I'm pushing my pelvis or lower abs forward. The other is, while standing with your feet straight forward, imagine (but don’t move) that your toes are rotating outward away from the toes on the other feet. This rotation should open up your pelvis and engage your glutes.