Arm movement while sprinting

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Dear Reader,

Those of you that are regular readers would have no doubt read the email a few days ago about my daughter sprinting “Bourne style”.

A full all out sprint, arms pumping, legs pounding, heart roaring … done repetitively, and a great, great workout unto itself – – if and only if done RIGHT.

This evening, as I picked her up from her basketball class I asked her what went on in class.

“Papa, I did a lot of running!”

“Did you run fast”, I inquired.

“Yes! I even won the race!”

“Very good!”, I replied, and meant every word. “Can you show me how you did it?”

“Um, ok …… ”

“Papa, why don’t you and I race?”

“Good idea!!” chimed in my wife, who was until now on what she terms “silent mode”. “Let’s see Barbara win the race!”

And off we went, and my little girl (naturally) won the race – sprinting not once – not twice – but THRICE – in the style I’ve described above.

A video really is worth a thousand words and more. I’ve spoken to her a lot about sprinting, but that sprint video I showed up was really what set it all up, along with the thumping music of course.

Anyway, the tip in all this?

Well, first off  – it’s this – when my daughter was running, I noticed a slight aberration in her form.

I had noticed this the first day itself and had corrected her, and did so again today.

“Sweetie, your arms should NOT be tight when you run. They should be loose and limber, and propelling you along – without really trying to!”

“Daddy, what is propelling?”

“Moving – and flying – like the winnnnnnnddddd!”

You see, my daughter was holding her hands tightly while running – and in a curious sort of “downwards” manner that girls seem to have (though certainly not kids this young).

And this was greatly reducing her speed.

Don’t get me wrong. She’s still lightning fast, and will likely be beating me hands down in a couple of years from now – – but the arm movement was off, and the reason I’m telling you is this – – a lot of folks use their arms incorrectly while sprinting as well.

This tip is NOT something I’ve mentioned in Advanced Hill Training or 0 Excuses Fitness. It’s to reward you for being a member of my daily email list, so here it is –

When you sprint – do “pump” your arms once you’re into the sprint, but do NOT do so “consciously”

In other words, your arms should be such that the elbows are by your sides, and the forearms are making a 90 degree angle with your upper arm – and the shoulders are loose and relaxed as opposed to tight and “inflexible”.

The REAL power comes from the legs – – but as you run fast, fast, and faster – – do NOT clench your fists or actively “pump” the arms with the shoulders.

This may make you feel it more in the shoulders – sure – but it’ll end the sprint that much sooner.

The point of the arms is to PROPEL you along – – but the point of the sprint isn’t an intense and isolated shoulder workout. If anything, the shoulders should be loosened up even more after your sprint workouts if you know what I mean!

I’ve covered sprints in Advanced Hill Training, and believe me – what I’ve mentioned above is just the TIP of the iceberg. Crack open the course for several other sprint and workout variants that you’ve likely never tried before – – workouts that will literally have you melting fat off as you move through the routines.

Well, my friend, that’s it for now. I’ll be back later!


Rahul Mookerjee

P.S. – In case the part about shoulders has got you interested (and why not – we ALL want them battletank shoulders) – – then THIS course has got workouts that’ll give even the most dedicated of gym rats and bros a SERIOUS, SERIOUS run for their dough – –

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