Sprint mechanics critique

Why do I have all of these views but no comments???

I’m certainly no expert but I didn’t think you looked terrible. Looked like your foot was landing a little in front when upright, but that may have been the video angle.

Seriously for all of the technique talk and such that I have been told or given etc. really just pumping the arms and stepping down helps me the most. When upright for me it is best to focus on “quick foot strikes” or “running on hot coals”. The only reason I think that is… is because I developed a habit of trying to step down as hard as I could. I had to have read that somewhere because I did it on purpose for awhile. I was trying to be powerful, which I now remember Charlie saying only slows you down. So obviously you have to find what works for you in certain instances.

From the video, I would advise a more dynamic arms swing maintained at 90degree. See If It somewhat shorten your backside mechanics.

Okay thank you. I was just wondering if anybody had any comments. I can already point out some of the flaws, but I just have to figure out how to fix them. My hips look a little low, my knee lift could be better/better front side mechanics/less back side mechanics. It looks like I stop stepping over and down as I start to pick up speed like I’m kicking at the ground.

overall it looks pretty good to me…

with your hips, there are always hurdle walks to help condition that area. Technically, you could cue “lift” with regards to your hips?

with your knee lift, if you try sprinting with open hands this might help by creating a longer lever on the upstroke, which should bring your knee lift higher.

maybe a video of you rolling to the 35m sprint just incase mechanics are different from where you are doing a standing start ?

Didn’t look that bad to me, you are running with a pull where I prefer the push.

What do you mean?

I always thought it was better to have your hands relaxed like holding a potato chip.

I see you running like a football player.
Speed dynamics is pull, regardless if you straighten the leg or not. Charlie Francis said to step down, at speed I would suggest it is a push.
If you were moving a wheelbarrow by pushing it compared to pulling it is as close as I can get.

Sorry I can’t go further but it has taken 20 years to see what I think I do and I cannot explain in detail in a forum.

I think I understand what you are trying to say. It looks like I am reaching and pulling at speed instead of stepping down under my hips. Is this correct? If so I think I can fix it by improving my frontside mechanics, so I will have more time to step down. I will make another video and try to focus on a better step down.

When the body is in front of the footplant step down. I may start a new post rather than hijack yours.

It probably comes down to personal preference. I wouldn’t say running with open hands will make you tense up as long as your not straining to keep you hands wide open.

You may even find it of benefit to start with open hands and as you get into your running, start to close up your hands if you find it helps you relax more.


video of maurice greene and asafa powell running with open hands.

Not to say jump on the band wagon but don’t write it off. You can always try it out and if it’s not for you then switch back.

Izzle, striking too far in front of your COM requires that you lower your COG, thus forcing you to pull (lower-hammy strain on the way) rather than push. You need to shorten your stride, elevate your COG. Doing this you will reduce your contact time and improve your impulse, thereby increasing your flight time slightly and therefore also your effective stride length. High skips, hip mobility exercises such as aforementioned hurdles walk-overs, quad massages and stretches and core stability exercises will all help you.

very good advice kitkat

I think what you are saying is the better way to go. By improving the frontside conventionally you will be giving yourself less time to step down therefore overstriding will be the result. Increase the speed of the frontside.

Thanks kitkat1 I really appreciate it. I will try to focus on stepping straight down and elevating my hips.

Push up start. My knee lift is still a little low and my hips are too. I’m not sure if it is just because I am accelerating during this 20 meter sprint or if I am braking at the hips. I was trying to focus on getting the foot down and letting my body unfold naturally. I think I may be sitting back slightly due to bending at the waist a little. I will also upload a video later with more of a focus on posture.


Hey izzle, One thing I’d suggest you get used to is the feeling of taller hips, while running, walking, standing, etc. Make tall hips a part of your everyday life. Put your finger on the front point of the top of your hip, then move that point of your hip as high as you can. This should have you rotate your finger/hip pointer up and your lower hip up under you at least slightly. This is the tall hip position you need to push/drive your hips into at the end of your first 10 or so steps. You can’t do this next thing well everyone is suggesting (stepping down) in high speed running unless you’ve push the hips tall after drive phase. It looks like you do this pretty well (tall hip) for about 4-6 pushes, then you just leave them back as you transition to faster running. Keep pushing them tall for another 4-6 pushes. The entire drive phase and transition to top speed should feel front sided and tall through the hip.

Again, a lot of folks have already suggested a stepping down, pushing mechanic, which is totally correct for high speed sprint mechs. One of the cues I like to give is to be taller sooner on your foot strike (the ground). Fast people’s legs are nearly fully extended when they initially touch the ground while sprinting. The fastest are nearly fully extended in their leg for a little bit before they strike the ground. When on ground there is the tiniest of amorts in their knee and they are into flexion/recovery mechs as their foot is on ground behind them. This is really a timing thing more than an effort thing. This is what rudiment jumps are meant to train. Taller, stiffer leg sooner…simple really. Ralph Mann says you have to do 85% of force application in the first 4-6 inches of front-side ground mechanics, by the time your foot gets under your COG. So you have to be ready for it sooner. You actually have really good recovery mechanics, which is half the battle. So it should be relatively easy to step down and get tall on your strike sooner in your run cycle.

This next thing may sound a little hard to do, but it isn’t really…and it will help your step down and taller strike. Try to relax your hamstrings a little bit. You are a little too over-active with them which is why your having a hard time getting the leg extension for the tall strike. Your early hamstring use is keeping your leg bent at initial ground contact. Over active hammy also cause too much backside mechanics. Hammys are pull muscles, while the glutes and quads are your push muscles (most of this sport is about your glutes really). You’re trying to pull the ground back horizontally like you’re on a busted treadmill, when you should be stepping down. Relax the hammys and they will work reflexively, with great strength, and correctly. Simply, leave them alone…it is actually less work for you. Don’t worry about your arms or hands, they are working pretty well.

As a suggestion, try 50-60m for your next video or form runs. A little extra time and space can help you get into a good running rhythm and mechanics. You might be feeling a little hurried and tense to cram it all into a short 35m distance.

I pretty much said what others already have in a slightly different way…but you never know what turn of phrase might help.

Thanks I will post a video of me doing some 50-60 meter build ups