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Sprinting Technique

By breaking your sprinting technique into its component parts you can focus on and improve specific phases of the action. Excellent sprinting technique has some of the following characteristics...

Arm Action
Arms should swing from the shoulder. Keep them relaxed and at approximately 90 degrees of flexion. Focus on swinging your arms in a straight line.

Body Posture
Your entire body should lean forward slightly as you run. Do not bend from your waist, this will adversely affect your center of gravity and correct running mechanics. Instead the slight lean forward should come from the ground up. Try also to keep your head and trunk still and your entire body relaxed..

Ground Contact
Run on the balls of your feet NOT your toes. If you think about it your toes are fairly weak and offer little or no stability.

Stride Length
There is a fine line between overstriding and understriding. If stride length is too great and your foot lands in front of your center of gravity it will cause you to brake.

If your stride length is too short your stride frequency will be high but you won't cover much ground. Not the most efficient use of your energy!

The sprinting technique drills below will help develop excellent form. The number of times you practise these drills depends on your situation. Sprint athletes will obviously dedicate more training time to improving sprinting technique than football players for example.

Perform the drills immediately after your warm up or on a rest day. They are not designed to fatigue you or provide a training overload. Make sure you are fresh when you perform these sprinting technique drills. Quality is everything!


Sprinting Technique Program

These sprinting technique drills can be performed in this order or alternatively focus on just 3-4 drills. There is no need to perform multiple sets and repetitions.

Raise Knees: 10 meters - jog - 10 meters - rest Sprint 10 meters concentrating on raising knees as higher than normal. Jog for 10 meters and then sprint for 10 meters and rest.

Fast Knee Pick Ups: 10 meters - jog - 10 meters - rest Jogging on the spot raise your knees to waist height while emphasising arm action. Move forward 10 meters with this action concentrating on the number of ground contacts rather than how fast you cover the distance. Try to get as many ground contacts as possible.

Flicks: 10 meters - jog - 10 meters - rest While sprinting over 10 meters concentrate on flicking your heels up to touch your butt.

Leg Speed: 60 meters This is a normal sprint over 60 meters except all of your focus should be on your legs. Try to gauge the optimum leg speed for you by taking different stride lengths to see which yields the best results.

Skipping: 40 meters

High Hops: 3 x 40 meters Bound from one foot to the other. The action is similar to skipping except your are trying to gain as much height as possible and stay in the air for as long as possible. Remember to recover fully between attempts.

Elbow Drive: 40 meters Sprint for 40 meters concentrating on driving your elbow in a straight line. Keep your elbows flexed at right angles while keeping your arms relaxed.

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