Dumbbell arm swings

A lot of coaches advocate dumbbell arm swings as part of the gym training program of a sprinter e.g. 2 x 30sec dumbbell arm swings with 10lb dumbbells in the hands, followed by 2 x 30sec dumbbell arm swings with 15lb dumbbells, or something like that. These dumbbell arm swings are usually performed at the end of a regular gym workout.
I believe Linford used to include dumbbell arm swings in his training program.
What are forum members’ thoughts on this exercise? Is it a little bit too specific?

Using dumbbell arm swings to improve your sprinting would be a lot like punching with dumbbells to improve your boxing. On the surface both seem to mimic the correct actions, but the muscles used are quite different. Also the marginal benefit is going to be relatively small when compared to other exercises (e.g. olympic lifts, power lifts or sprinting).

You could get a similar effect with dumbell squat swings - an old school exercise.

basicly you hold a dumbell with both arms and squat down with the dumbell between your legs, and explode up swing the weight overhead. Not unlike an oly lift in feel, works the delts, back and posterior chain in a similar way, without the learning curve. Has some carry over to vertical jumping as well

From my upcoming book:

The best example of this form of training is loaded sports movements. For example skating with a weighted sole in the skate (very very light insoles), skating/running while pulling a light sled or using a sport parachute, firing shots with an overweight stick, etc.

This form of training was once very popular with athletes, but it has become less utilized in recent years. The main drawback of this form of training is that it can impair coordination in the sports movement if the load leads to a change (even minimal) in the technique. If used correctly it can be a good way to strengthen specific movements patterns and the muscles involved in the movement.

Pros: Loaded sports movements can strengthen the muscles in a very specific manner. It can also help technical correction via enhanced feedback (you can feel the movement better when there is a bit more resistance and thus can spot your weaknesses).

Cons: Very easy to abuse and even the slightest mistake in loading can lead to a negative effect on the sport performance.

When to use the method: The use of loaded sports movements should be limited to very experienced coaches who can spot the slightest technical discrepancy and to very advanced athletes who have a stable and solid technical mastery. This method, if used at all, should be limited to early in the preparatory period and should be used for a 4 weeks cycle at the most, once or twice per week (preferably once).