Head-to-Toe Sprint Mechanics | STACK

Head-to-Toe Sprint Mechanics

September 1, 2010 | Featured in the September, 2010 Issue

Whether or not you’re blessed with the God-given ability to fly, speed can be taught and improved.

An athlete’s speed is determined by stride length, stride frequency and force production into the ground —elements that can be enhanced by refining your sprinting form. Efficient speed mechanics ensure that an athlete is firing the proper muscles in the correct sequence to maximize speed potential.

“Developing proper running form—the ability to accelerate your body and transition into top-end speed position—results in blazing speed,” says Nick Winkelman, education performance specialist at Athletes’ Performance.

It doesn’t matter if you’re leading the chase or being chased down, a disciplined emphasis on proper running mechanics will take your speed to the next level.

Head-to-Toe Sprint Mechanics

1. Keep toes pulled up toward shins with feet activated
2. Drive knees up and avoid overstriding by keeping shins behind knees
3. Fire glutes and hamstrings to apply force into ground
4. Strike ground with balls of feet underneath hips and cycle legs after each ground strike
5. Keep shoulders square and elbows locked at 90 degrees
6. Drive elbows forward and back from cheek to cheek
7. Point chin slightly down, focus eyes straight ahead and hold head still
8. Relax upper-body muscles and face

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...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Speed Training Essentials You Must Develop to Get Faster

As in a previous article, The Venn Diagram of Sprinting, this article will focus on additional factors associated with speed development. Initially, we...

Soccer Players: Get Faster with the Montreal Impact Workout

Ditch the Sprints. Here's How to Build True Sports Speed

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Track Sprints

Build Strength for Baseball and Softball Speed

STACK Challenge: 300-Yard Shuttle

How Sammy Watkins Built His Game-Breaking Speed

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

Stability Training Can Improve Your Agility and Range of Motion

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Sprint Speed

5 Essential Cross Country Workouts Explained

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

Improve Your Football 40 Time During the Season

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Ladder Drills

10 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Faster

Get Faster With the Ultimate Stair Workout

Michael Johnson's Guide to a Faster 40

Burn Your Competition with This Sprint Workout

Sprint Faster With Speed Demons

3 Box Drills That Develop True Game Speed

Make Quick and Powerful Cuts Like Adrian Peterson

8 Positions to Lower Your 40-Yard-Dash Time

Get the Most Out of Foam Rolling

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

Reactive Agility: The Next Big Thing in Speed Training

The Speed Drill That Set Up DeSean Jackson's 64-Yard Touchdown

3 Speed Drills to Help You Sprint Faster and Lower Your 40 Time

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Treadmill Challenge

Get Faster With 'The .10 Second Difference' From EXOS

4 Foot Speed Drills to Increase Speed and Agility

Step Counting: How Big Men Can Run a Faster 40

3 Speed Workouts to Improve Your Top-End Sprints

Rev Up Your Sprint Training With These Complexes

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Multidirectional Run

Pyramids: A Sprint Workout for the Strong

Get More Explosive Off the Line of Scrimmage Like DeSean Jackson

Increase Your Soccer Speed With 4 Sprint Drills

Build Game-Breaking Speed With This Exercise

Get Faster With 3 Essential Speed Training Strategies

How to Build First-Step Quickness for Baseball and Softball

3 Simple Tips to Improve Your 40-Yard Dash

Here's Why Andre Williams' Breakout Performance Was No Fluke

Soccer Speed and Agility Drills for Women

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

How to Safely Decelerate Faster

2-Week Long-Distance Track Workout Training Plan

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program