Fast or Faster? Proper Sprinting Form & Technique
The toes of both feet should point directly forward or slightly toe-in.
Extend powerfully through plantar flexion on the balls of the feet. (Plantar flexion is when you point your toe. Think of pressing the gas pedal in your car.)
Push powerfully through the foot to project the body forward.
The Drive Phase
Requires power and coordination between arm drive and leg drive.
Powerful hip movement driving the thigh up and forward. Try not to let your thighs move sideways, instead keep them driving straight forward.
The thigh should drive powerfully to a position parallel or near parallel to the ground. This is why I yell for you to “pick those legs up.”
Arm drive is important. Arm drive and arm frequency control leg drive and stride frequency (the faster the arms drive, the faster the legs move). Arms move opposite the legs. As left leg drives forward, the right arm is driving forward.
Arms should be bent at 90 degrees throughout the sprint, and drive forward to a position where the hand is approximately even with nose height.
Arm drives backward to a position where the hand slightly passes your butt.
Keep your fingers of both hands relaxed and cupped lightly together. An easy way to remember this is to visualize holding sheets of paper between each finger without wrinkling the paper.
Arms should swing smoothly and effortlessly from the ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder joint.
Shoulders should be relaxed and down, not up by your ears.
Eyes should be focused about 20 yards ahead of you.
Head is held in the neutral position, with your jaw relaxed.
Keep the ankle locked up (in DORSI flexion) until the landing phase. Dorsi flexion is opposite of plantar flexion when your toes are flex back toward your shins.
Hips and shoulders should be squarely facing forward in the direction of the sprint.
Keep your belly-button drawn back towards your spine. This is an essential foundation of all athletic movement. When you implement the drawing-in maneuver, it creates a solid wall the core muscles can push against.
Run sprints at 90-95% of maximum speed.
The Landing Phase
Land on your heels, instead of flat footed which is what most people tend to do.
Over striding (the foot landing in front of the body) can actually cause a “braking action” that slows the body down.
The leg should extend forward and down, with ankle locked in dorsi flexion until contact.
The Recovery Phase
As the foot leaves the ground, you should simultaneously drive your heals toward your booty and dorsi-flex the foot (toes and foot curl up toward the shin)