Knee Height at Start

hey everyone, so after watching some video of myself and videos of elite sprinters, its come to my attention that one of the major technical differences I see between my form and theirs is that in the first couple steps, their knee almost hits their chest. right after exiting their blocks, their knee gets to the height of being parallel to the ground on every stride

when I sprint, however, when I exit my starting stance or blocks, my initial stride’s knee height is great, but then for the next few strides, I end up with these choppy looking steps where my knee doesn’t get much past perpendicular to my body (still far away from parallel to the ground as I’m in an acceleration position, leaning forward) and then stuff gets back to normal looking (knee gets to parallel with the ground from there-on-out)

I am hitting triple extension, and while I do tend to get upright pretty quickly, being any lower feels quite uncomfortbale

at first I thought it could be a mobility issue, but my ROM once I’m past the first 5 steps or so is currently excellent, so I don’t think it’s that. plus I’m fairly flexible

because knee height is a result of the force being applied to the ground, people might think its a strength issue, but I think that’s doubtful as I can squat well over 2x my bw to parallel and have a very high vertical jump

I’m thinking it’s probably a cueing issue, and right now, outside the wrist flick at the start, I don’t really use any other cues. I constantly hear concentrating on knee lift is bad, and that trying to be powerful is a bad idea

does anyone have any ideas? I think that the passive knee lift in my start is inhibiting my ability to get a lot of negative foot speed in my first few strides and while I look pretty quick, I’m sure my stride length and speed is being hampered

Have a look where their foot is. To get the foot in that position the knee has to be high.

Classic method for training knee lift at the start is short uphill runs. If you keep them shorter than 20m these can be quite steep without compromising technique.

Well, clearly to get the foot higher, the knee (and leg in general) will also be higher

Are you implying to cue getting the foot into the correct position as opposed to lifting the knee?

Will just running these sprints full blast result in my knees getting in the correct position because of the hill?

Try lifting the knee high then see how many positions the foot can be in

Lift the foot high, how many positions can the knee be in.

I agree! I never really thought about it that way. though I’m more interested in the cueing of the motion than the actual mechanics of it.

I assume what your impying is if I just cue getting my foot in the right popsition, than the knee height will work itself out

I have always approached it that way. Sorry about the cue.

If the foot gets to the right position so is the knee.

You will always look like you are cycling, forces of momentum.

aren’t the first few steps suppose to be piston like and not cycling??

tried cueing from my foot instead yesterday. it worked! start looked much better. my leg casting wasn’t as bad either, so my drive phase finally extended. just gotta work on making it automatic now :slight_smile:

CF said step down, I said because of the forces of motion it will LOOK like you are cycling.