Increasing Hip Height

It’s agreed that when sprinting a high hip height is essential. But I was wondering how (what exerciese/training) one would go about increase hip height. Is hip height purely a strength issue, or is it genetic (i.e. concerning muscle structure and limb length).


I had a lady last night increase her hip height just by fixing one very tight hip flexor!
There are many reasons.

I noticed the greatest difference in hip height when I learned to fire my glutes properly. This allows the leg to extend properly, you will not sit and you should have alot more spring. It is of course very important not to have tight hip flexors as boldwarrior states. Correct lumbar and thoracic posture is also important which is reliant on back mobility and strength to some degree.

Hip Mobility and rotation of your hips is essential to sprinting.
Genetics play a role certainly as we are born with certain traits and attachment points of the muscles esp. glutes and hamstrings …,
" Would you like to gain a free meter in the 100meters"…
" The rotation of the hip towards the center line in the full upright position allows the hip to turn a total of 3 inches ( forward and backward) producing a stride length gain of 1.5 inches over a hip locked position with no additional effort. A top sprinter takes about 29 steps in the full upright position in the 100m where full rotation can occur. ( 29.1.5" = 45.5" or 1.1m. ( Note : this blurb is at the bottom of one of the graghs created with Charlie’s ideas and are based on actual silhouettes of World Class sprinters in action).
( I am in the process of locating the product where this slide and illustration can be viewed. In the interim I will scan this and post it when I make time :wink:

Many of you may not know that Charlie’s artistic background played a significant role in the " eye" he developed as a coach. Charlie’s father was a highly trained fine artist and this skill IMO and his contributed significantly to how he could analyse what he saw combined with his experience as one of the worlds top sprinters.
I have said this before ( I think) but will say it again that the original title CMF chose ( it was not selected as a choice title in the end as the title becomes property of those marketing the book) for " Speed Trap" was " Looks Right , Flys Right". ( which was really the short form for " If it looks right , It will fly right").
Another note.
Long before Donovan Bailey ran anything of note Charlie told him he had what was needed to make a world champion. I remember Charlie saying one of Donavon’s main weak spots were he had virtually no calves to speak of. I remember thinking how could something be so over simplified but it was really a very short period of time later than Donovan went out and got some decent training and races behind his belt and became the Olympic Champion.

I see it on the aussie presentation Charlie put together slide 19-21…

Yes, Thanks RB34,
THis gragh as well as others can viewed in " Key Concepts Elite Edition" as well.
I just noticed the pages are all messed up in this e book pdf file.
A task that has to be taken on for better referencing for all.
I really appreciate members who contact me and let me know things I have missed.
( I have begun to shrink this very long list of things I have missed …:wink:

I always wondered about the whole rotation towards midline thing. Is the hip movement one that is done ‘naturally’ from good flexibility or is it/can it be ‘manufactured’ by making a conscious effort to make the knees come towards midline via different means such as running on the line at practice? Hope my question is understood.

It’s comes about (among other possible factors) by moving the hands/arms to (but not across) the midline which helps to initiate the hip rotation.

For most people i come across - it requires a lot of therapy to really get the hips to rotate to their full range.
But once it is, then yes, running on a line drills etc can deff help.

So, a meter can be gained by being more intentional in training to moves hips toward center line? INteresting bcuz one of the fastest male sprinters I coached achieved this quite naturally.

Bold…what low budget methods of stretching (active or passive) would you recommend. I am an advocate of using chiros and PTs’ to achieve better long and short term results but my problem is recources. some of my kids barely have adequate meals at home so licensed professionals are a bit far-fetched for their families. Hope you understand

There is theory and then reality and the ideal vs what is.
Track is a sport that really forces you to make the most of what you have and utilize what resources you may not know are available to you.
I am not sure if you are doing any massages yourself but you might look into a place that is teaching massage therapy or some therapies and the students might be more than happy to get valuable experience working on athletes. Teach the athletes to do things like self massage, stretching with ropes and get any kind of roller you can get your hands on. Hydro therapy is free if you have a shower.
Another thing you might be able to do is find an organization willing to give you some financial support or think of some kind of fund raising. IMO teaching the athletes to have some interest in what they are trying to achieve can be a long term lesson which transcends their time in sport.

common faults that effect hip height
1: The knee rises to a point higher than the hip, causing:
A: the hip to drop in reaction, lowering the CG.
B: the knee to pass the point of maximum distance ahead of the torso, and begin travelling through an
arc back towards the torso, leading to the buckling; and movement forward of the support knee,
reducing backward thrust and lowering the CG still further.
2: Quad tightness prevents the free leg from folding up tightly underneath the torso on the way
forward, causing it to swing through a large arc, which, in turn, causes additional stress on the hip
flexors, a hyperlordotic back position, and an inability to achieve full extension of the support leg.
3: The attempt to maintain dorsiflexion throughout the entire stride cycle (yes, some people
recommend this!), causing the loss of propulsion forward and upward that would result from the full
extension of the foot. This action also prevents full extension at the support knee.
1: The optimal effective knee height is exactly the point of maximum distance away from the torso. This
height allows full extension of the support leg and allows the maximum height/time to accelerate the
foot downwards for the next foot contact, to ensure the application of all available force.
2: Relaxation, with the shoulders down and aligned with the ears (seen side]on) allows for the natural
flow of the stride through its complete range.
3: Proper arm action, with the elbows at approximately 90 degrees with the hands pulling DOWN from
approximately face height to the hip or slightly behind.
4: Flexibility and good muscle tone for maximum performance.

( taken from " Micro Review" sold on our site store ~ 2009)

[QUOTE=Angela Coon;243140]I remember Charlie saying one of Donavon’s main weak spots were he had virtually no calves to speak of.[QUOTE]

Just curious about this observation. I recall reading somewhere on this forum that calf work is something not to really put effort into developing in the weight room because they are hit hard enough just by sprinting

obviously everybody’s a unique case, but in a case where calves are under-developed, would just sprint training be enough for them?

I personally had like no calves entering last season and the training (calf raises 1x a week in the weightroom and sprinting/running) consistently left me with them as a consistently sore muscle. any idea how Bailey got his up to par?

I also noticed that in older asafa vids, his calves don’t look very developed (especially compared to his upper body)

Great post…