FUNDAMENTAL RUNNING MECHANICS

FORM RUNNING

We want you to understand and practice proper running mechanics during spring training. As you begin to understand proper sprint technique, you can focus on certain sprinting actions we prescribe.

Points of Concentration

1.       Relaxation – Keep the face, neck, jaw and hands relaxed. Run fast and smooth, not stiff!

2.       Body Position – Head level, chin tucked and eyes focused on a point straight ahead. Stand Tall with the hips and shoulders tall. Your stomach should be “tight” and your back flat. “HEAD TO HEEL, STRONG AS STEEL”

3.     Knee Lift – Lift the knee up to waist level in a straight line up and down. Step over the opposite knee with a toe up, heel up, knee up action. “DRIVE THE NAILS, WITH YOUR HAMMERS, CHEEK TO CHEEK!” 

 4.      Arm Action – Keep the elbows at a 90 – degree angle, with the arm’s “swinging” from shoulder. The arm action should be straight and not cross the midline of the body. The shoulders should be relaxed with the elbows down, and the emphasis should be on the arm drive BACKWARD, with the back hand going slightly past the back pocket. The front hand should return to shoulder height. “USE YOUR HAMMERS CHEEK TO CHEEK!”


THE STANCE AND START FOR ALL SPRINT WORK AND CONDITIONING

The most important aspect of sprinting is your stance and start. Think about this; pure acceleration is achieved in the first 8-10 strides. 45% of maximum velocity is achieved in the first 5 yards. 75% of maximum velocity is achieved in the first 10 yards, and maximum attainable velocity is usually achieved in as little as 4 – 5 seconds. You must take advantage of this opportunity or lose it.

THE STANCE – (RIGHT HANDED)

The left foot should be placed about 6 to 10 inches behind the starting line (this is based on hip flexibility and comfort), with fingers of the right hand just behind the white line. The majority of weight should be placed on the front foot. The left hand should be held in the air just above the left hip or butt cheek. The right foot should be placed 2 to 4 inches behind the left foot with feet not wider than hip width. There should be air under both heels. You want your hips up and shoulders rolled forward just over the starting line. Your head should be centered with your eyes looking straight down at the ground concentrating on your stance. Don’t look up or cock your head back.

When you are comfortable you should check again to make sure your weight is on your front foot. Your concentration at this point should be on the “explosion” of your first step out of your stance. 

The Stance and Start – (right handed)

Since you can only think of one action at a time, you should only focus on our explosion! When you explode, you push your left foot hard against the ground driving your hips out over the starting line. Your left hand and arm reach straight out, not up.

As you drive forward on the left foot and reach out with the left hand, you should now focus on a good first stride with the right foot. Lift the knee to your chest and let the toe reach out similar to our wall run drill. Too short of a first stride will make you stand up, the coach looks for a powerful piston like leg drive and explosive arm action during this phase of the start.

As acceleration increases your body position will begin to rise. As your shoulders rise, your hips should begin to come forward at the same rate. As the hips and shoulders get more vertical your leg action changes from piston like to cyclic (ankle, knee and hip moving in a circle). 

The Stance – (left handed)

The right foot should be placed about 6 to 10 inches behind the starting line (this is based on hip flexibility and comfort), with fingers of the left hand just behind the white line. The majority of weight should be placed on the front foot. The right hand should be held in the air just above the right hip or butt cheek. The left foot should be placed 2 to 4 inches behind the right foot with feet not wider than hip width. There should be air under both heels. You want your hips up and shoulders rolled forward just over the starting line. Your head should be centered with your eyes looking straight down at the ground concentrating on your stance. Don’t look up or cock your head back.

When you are comfortable you should check again to make sure your weight is on your front foot. Your concentration at this point should be on the “explosion” of your first step out of your stance.

The Stance and Start – (left handed)

Since you can only think of one action at a time, you should only focus on our explosion! When you explode, you push your right foot hard against the ground driving your hips out over the starting line. Your right hand and arm reach straight out, not up.

As you drive forward on the right foot and reach out with the left hand, you should now focus on a good first stride with the left foot. Lift the knee to your chest and let the toe reach out similar to our wall run drill. Too short of a first stride will make you stand up, the coach looks for a powerful piston like leg drive and explosive arm action during this phase of the start.

As acceleration increases your body position will begin to rise. As your shoulders rise, your hips should begin to come forward at the same rate. As the hips and shoulders get more vertical your leg action changes from piston like to cyclic (ankle, knee and hip moving in a circle). 


Speed Improvement Drills

Speed Improvement Drills (SID)

These drills are an important part of our speed and power program. They are used to reinforce proper sprint mechanics and develop lower body strength and explosive power. We will do one of the speed improvement drill circuits before every sprint workout on Tuesday and Thursday. 

 

ACTIVE/DYNAMIC FLEXIBILITY (TO BE PERFORM WARM-UP)

Click here to see images of Flexibility with examples.

1.       Retro Calf

2.       Figure 4

3.       Fire Hydrant

4.       Knee/Quad Pull

5.       Walking RDL

6.       Soldier Kick

7.       Arm Circles (Small & Big / Forward and Backward)

8.       Arm Crossovers

9.       Sprinter Arms

10.   Inchworm w/Pushup

11.   Lateral Lunge w/ Reach

12.   Spiderman Craw

13.   High Knee Lunge w/Lat Stretch

14.   ITB Toe Reach

15.   Golfer/Tennis Wrist Stretch

16.   Neck (STAR) Strech


 ACTIVE/DYNAMIC WARM – UP (TO BE PERFORMED IN EACH WARM-UP)

1.       Leg Swings – 2 x 10 front to back

2.       Over Hurdles – 2 x 10

3.       Under Hurdles – 2 x 10

4.       Forward Lunge – 1 x 20 Yards

5.       Backward Lunge – 1 x 20 Yards

6.       Front Eagles – 1 x 10 each leg

7.       Back Eagles – 1 x 10 each leg

SID CIRCUIT I – All performed 2 x 20 yards

1.       High Knee Carioca

2.       A – Skip slow

3.       Backward run

4.       Ankle Flip (Balls of your feet) Skips

5.       Hamstring Kicks

6.       A – Skip Fast

7.       High Knee Pumps with arm action

8.       Perfect Starts


SID CIRCUIT II – 2 X 20 YARDS

1.       Low Knee Carioca (Quick Hips)

2.       A – Skip Slow

3.       Backward Run

4.       Crossover Skip

5.       Hamstring Kicks

6.       A – Skip Fast

7.       High Knee Pumps with arm action

8.       Perfect Starts

SID CIRCUIT III

1.       Drop Step Skips

2.       Alternate fast leg

3.       Stiff Leg Bound

4.       Power Skip or Single Leg hop

5.       Hamstring Kicks

6.       A – Skip Fast

7.       High Knee pumps with arm action

8.       Perfect Starts