Lean forward with staggered stance, left leg bent forward and right leg and hips slightly bent behind body. Extend left arm back along side body and bend right arm under shoulder. Push off explosively with both legs.
Swing right knee forward quickly while left leg extends and remains in contact with ground. In unison to leg movement, swing left bent arm forward while swinging right bent arm back. Continue to pull right knee forward and upward while driving left leg back so extended left leg and torso form straight line angled forward approximately 45°.
Extend left foot as left hip and knee terminate extension propelling body forward as both feet are no longer in contact with ground. Begin to swing left arm back and right arm forward. Also extend right leg in preparation for initial landing while while beginning to pull left heel toward bottock. Right foot makes initial contact with ground on outside edge ball of foot. As weight of body is transferred to ball of foot, continue to pull left heel toward buttock. Right foot quickly travels underneath body with supporting knee slightly bent. As left knee begins to be pulled forward, left arm continues to travel back behind body while right arm continues to swing forward.
Repeat sprinting pattern with movements on opposite sides, alternating between sides. Extend length and speed of each stride and increasing angle of body to ground. Use more upright running gait once top speed is reached (typically 50-60 meters for women and 60-70 meters for men). During this time, keep body upright with head up, arms to sides, and hands relaxed. Maintain long but comfortable stride length. Continue until specific distance is covered or prescribed time has elapsed.
Sprinting is a more powerful and faster form of running that can only be performed in short bouts, 400m or below. Sprinting on balls of feet, as opposed to toes, creates maximum push off on ground and forward acceleration. During the acceleration phase, keep foot’s point of contact slightly behind center of mass.
Overstriding in acceleration phase places foot’s point of contact too far forward thereby slowing speed. Therefore begin with slightly shorter steps while extending length and speed of each stride throughout acceleration phase. Once maximum velocity has been achieved, body is positioned more upright and foot strikes slightly in front of the hips to provide vertical support. As knee travels under the hip, it remains slightly bent so leg can extend forcefully behind body.
Arm action, working in opposition to legs, is critical in developing efficient stride length. It also opposes high rotational forces produced from the legs to maintain straighter forward path during running. Arms should be loosely held at right angles with elbows close to body and arms swinging on sagittal plane. Keep shoulders down and perpendicular to direction of run with arms swinging from shoulders. Arm swing should be strong with shoulders and hands relaxed. Swing hands to shoulder level and pull elbow back as far as possible. Carl Lewis was known for the cue, “elbow to the sky, thumb to the eye”.
Starting position may also include 3 or 4 point starting position. 4 point stance involves kneeling on ground with feet staggered. Place hands on ground below shoulders with arms straight. Raise hips higher than shoulders while keeping knees bent. Front knee positioned around a 90° and rear knee angled between 100° to 130°.
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Gloria JP (2018). Running Analysis: How Noah Lyles Sprints the 200m Under 20 Seconds. YouTube, https://youtu.be/7qDqMukLFRU. Accessed 10 Nov 2019.
Stack (2019). Why Most Sprint Drills Don't Make You Faster (And What to Do Instead). https://www.stack.com/a/why-most-sprint-drills-dont-make-you-faster-and-what-to-do-instead. Accessed 10 Nov 2019.