Sprinting with a stick on the back as a viable means to improve mechanics, etc?

I’ve seen a couple of instagram and youtube videos where competitive sprinters are sprinting with a stick on their back. What purpose would this achieve and would this be a useful tool to add in the sprint training arsenal like sleds, hills, weights etc? I’m assuming that running with a stick on your back takes the arms out of the equation so your legs have to work harder. If someone could elaborate that would be great, thanks.

post a youtube link


never seen this before and why is it done? arm action has to be kept simple just like walking

I have to admit that’s a new one for me. Maybe they should do that with an acceleration ladder and Moye starting block to get the maximum effect. Followed by squats on a Swiss ball of course.

Indeed. The sprinter’s hand placement on the bar is causing excessive thoracic rotation. For that reason alone, this is not a viable drill for a sprinter.

That’s the new one for me too.
I have seen and done with stick above the head, arms straight.
I have done it with some high jumpers and hurdlers.

Tellez has some drills, like running A’s, with hands on the hips. And then the athlete gradually incorporates arm action into the rhythm.

Not sure what the ultimate purpose/goal of the stick or barbell on the back would be though.

tellez uses this to teach the athlete how to use the hip extensors

Correct, but in all his literature and video footage I have of him, he never uses sticks though. I don’t understand how using a stick would enhance mechanics.

Stick above head allows you to involve stabilising muscles especially around core, it’s really difficult exercise.
With this exercise hip position is going to change as well.
Both ascending and descending A’s/dribble bleeds can be used to enhance mechanics but yet again those exercises are very difficult to do especially for beginners or generally weak athletes.

I have been referring to a stick/bar resting on the shoulders. I can see where that would work for ABOVE the head, where it may help an athlete get a feel for activating some of the postural muscles that assist in pelvic neutrality, but it doesn’t seem that it would have the same effect while resting on the shoulders.

brett, I wasn’t saying tellez was using the stick drill as hed laugh at it. he would however have students put their hands on waist and run which will give them the feel of using hip extensors and putting the foot down. ive tons of his work

Would have the stick on your back/traps as if you’re doing a barbell squat be the same as putting the hands on waist? Either way the arms are taken out of the equation and the athlete would have to use the hip extensors more

Dont take this the wrong way, but for an early stage athlete you are better to concentrate on the basics of acceleration/speed development, weights, medicine ball, tempo training, etc. Forget peripheral drills and exercises.
Be cautious about things like Youtube/instagram. They are not necessarily from a reputable source. Even if valid that may be the case for some people at some times. No training mode can stand in isolation to the type of athlete and their programme.
Stick to reputable sites that offer genuine training products, with bulletin boards that allow you to follow the thread of training pros and cons rather than a snap shot.

Get down to your local track and watch people train and race - and try it yourself.

Posting your own training programme/experiences will generate the most productive feedback.

J…tellez uses this technique a lot during his seminars. I wouldn’t do anything with a stick other than sweep the floor with it lol. tellez always always told me to keep it simple and showed me kids running which opened up my thoughts even more. kids just run and think nothing in doing so!

You fellas have it all wrong.

The sticks are used to stop too high an arm action.

Could you imagine a stick in the moosh, get them hands out not up.

Good old utube

We would do walking A’s with a medicine ball making sure each step was executed properly for stability.

The same way we used the medicine ball when doing hurdle walk over drills. When you are holding something in place it makes you aware of your posture which often people get sloppy on.

Holding a stick will running makes no sense as it interferes with your arm action while running.

Holding a stick over your head while running also makes no sense as you will see the posture falls apart quickly.

First you need to get something right and then perhaps you add a variable like a medicine ball to add load for a walking A or even running A’s we used a med ball over the head. But if the walking A’s or running A’s are not good nothing should be added until it’s good enough to change the stimulus.

Frankly, I don’t get why any responsible coach would want to encourage sprinters to NOT use their arms. Maybe doing plyos or hurdle hops or something like that you might ignore arm motion. But not sprinting on a flat track. Even sprinting up a hill or pulling sleds, you don’t want to encourage bad mechanics. Practice makes permanent.

Teaching people to use there arms is not such an easy thing I have learned. I like using hills as it’s easier to make the point when someone does a run up a hill regarding how the arms help you so much more.
I was not using my arms at all when I was first coached by Charlie and some of that was because I was not very strong in my upper body.
I think what happens is there are a lot of silly drills out there and some are worse than others. It would be good to have a round table on a question like this to the various top level coaches.
What is the best way to teach people to use their arms when they run?
Practice certainly does make permanent and if you start teaching silly stuff it’s hard to undo.