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Arm Pumps for Speed

March 1, 2009 | Featured in the March 2009 Issue

Your legs are the wheels that keep you moving, but if you want to reach top speed, your upper body needs to be a well-oiled machine.

“One of the most important things about running is your arm motion,” says U.S. Olympic T&F strength and conditioning coach Randy Hadley. “We spend a lot of time doing some basic arm motion exercises.”

Hadley, who trained Olympic hurdlers David Oliver of the United States and Ronald Forbes of the Cayman Islands in preparation for the 2008 Games in Beijing, uses the Arm Pump as a training tool to help increase speed.

“When people run faster, they start to pull their shoulders up and get [really] tense,” Hadley says. “They think they’re getting faster, but they’re just slowing themselves down.”

Arm Pump
• Use light weights (e.g., 2 ½-lb plates) in each hand
• Relax shoulders and lower jaw
• Keep arms in angled position, back on the elbow and forward on the wrist
• Swing arms freely through the motion
• Hands should extend just past your hips and up through your chest area

Sets/Reps/Rest: 3x60 seconds/ 60 seconds rest

Coaching Points: Maintain good arm angle // Use a controlled motion // Keep core stabilized from shoulders to waist

Related Exercises

Arm Pump
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
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