Quick Fix #1 for Running Technique:

     I was not sure whether to start this series of blog posts focusing from the ankle on up, or from the head down.  Nonetheless, this will be a series of quick tips about how to correct proper sprint form, specifically in athletes or in facilities that are focusing on acceleration and deceleration (anywhere from 10-25 yards).  Depending on the facility one is in, it is important to realize that if the main focus in on acceleration and deceleration as opposed to obtaining top end speed (sprinters), there will be other emphasis’ to form.  However, these tips can apply to sprinters as well as team sport athletes.

     From my short experience with track and field sprinters/hurdlers I have noticed a variety of form flaws but I think it could be more advantageous for the coach to only correct things that are more basic and you will get more “bang for your buck.”  What I mean by this is that there is almost always going to be very specific little flaws here and there with runners as you would expect because they are not world record holders in the 100m dash!  Even Charlie Francis, is quoted by saying Ben Johnson’s knee carried out while sprinting.  “If it aint broke dont fix it.”  I think the important thing to recognize is that everyone can get better, faster, and learn proper technique.  You do not need to overload athletes with 5 tips at one time.  Try to manage technique slowly and progressively so that athletes can pick it up one at a time.  This is not the only right way to do things, but I have found it to be successful when dealing with high school athletes.  So if your athletes are improving, keep up the great work! I would love to hear of great cues on how to fix certain flaws on sprinting form.

Completely relaxed

#1 Shoulder Relaxation

Of the biggest points of emphasis for runners or sprinters in general is to have relaxed shoulders when they run.  Having tension in the face, hands, and in this case, the shoulders provides more tension and thus more unwanted energy usage.  The shoulders and hips are connected through the thoracolumbar fascia as seen in the pictures below.  As I see it, maybe I am wrong, but because of this connection from the opposite side glute through to the opposite shoulder, a tightness in the shoulder (elevated shoulders) prevent optimal rolling of the shoulder forward and backward.  This locks up the hips which then prevents them from rolling the way they should.  The hips, which generate the most force in our body, are now not moving optimally.

So relaxed running CAN start from the shoulders.  Here is just another picture of the that fascial line in more detail as well as a video from Tom Tellez on proper relaxed arm swing.

Pic on Right: Fascial connections from opposite glute through to opposite side lat

Categories: Speed Training

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1 reply


  1. Quick Fix #2 for Running Technique « Matt Siniscalchi Strength & Conditioning

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