Foot and Hand placing for start of 40yd dash

Just curious what you guys use in terms of hand and foot placing for the start of the 40 out of a 3 point stance. I’m pretty comfortable in the 4 point stance, but the 3 point is still a little awkward for me. Where do you guys place your front foot in relation to the starting line, and rear foot in relation to your front foot? I know there’s many variations and techniques out there, but I’m just trying to see what works best for the majority. For those that use height as a factor, I’m 6’1…

This is what Im comfortable with.

  1. place front foot 4-6" behind starting line.
  2. place back foot 3-4" behind front foot.
  3. place opposite arm of front foot on the line and line your index finger and thumb on the line.
  4. Cock other arm at 90degrees.

I also forgot to post some links

I like to have my front foot about 2 foot lengths back from the line and the back foot heel-toe to the front foot. This gets my hips in front of my foot so that I can drive forward at the start with good angles.

A lot of guys put their front foot too close to the start line in the hopes of gaining a step. The problem is that this usually results in the hips being over or behind the front foot which means that you either have to wait until your torso rolls forward to be able to drive at a good angle or you pop straight up. (Both bad!)

For an example of what I am talking about (ie. what NOT to do!) Take a look at the pictures in the second link.

When the runner is in the set position, notice that his hips are behind his front foot. If he drives with both his legs, what is going to happen? Hint: he won’t move forward quickly!

I think thats my problem of my start, and having my foot in front of my hips creates a rolling start which you will get disqualified for also.

Thanks for the tips guys. I will give them a try and see which works best for me. I’m going to go out tomorrow and practice some 10-20 yard starts, and see which stance yields the best times.

Hey Fsucb, arent you a retired football player? Anyways which start helped you the most?

Under IAAF rules both hands must be in contact with the ground and both feet must be in contact with the starting blocks, why get technical with a 3 point start??

The 40yd dash can be that important! Ive tried 3 different stances in my start and there is a .2-.3 sec difference between the two! You cant afford to lose that much time in that short of a race.


Sorry I haven’t been on in a while, been busy with work and my baby daughter. I played a year in college before tearing my medial meniscus and hanging it up. I pretty much just got knocked around on the practice field for a year. Anyway, the stance that has given me the best times, is a combo of all the ones you guys put up here. I have been putting my front foot about 1 1/2 foot lengths (or about 18 inches) behind the line, and the toe of my rear foot about 8 inches to 1 foot behind the heal of the front foot. With my body mechanics, this seems to give me the best drive and allows me to stay low with more power for a longer distance.