This tip applies to sprinting.
Often times, people are told that the key to running faster is to run with "high knees" or to "pick their knees up".
Really, the focus should be more on producing high amounts of ground force than simply picking your knees up higher.
"Everybody in sprinting is so stuck on knee lift, knee lift. Getting your knees up high. But no one is focused on the power you need to put back into the ground," Olympic sprinter Justin Gatlin told STACK. "So with that knee up, it's coming back into the ground. Most sprinters and most coaches don't emphasize how to be able to plant that foot back into the ground or how to be able to push off that step. So everybody kinda just steps down, and that foot goes dead or that leg goes dead or that stride goes flat, because all they're worrying about is that next knee going up. So people need to be worried more about the power you put into the track, not so much about knees coming up off the track."
Ground force is the amount of force you apply into the ground when you're running. A lot of factors go into getting faster, but increasing ground force is a surefire way to see improvement. If an athlete can produce impressive amounts of ground force along with good sprint mechanics, proper knee lift will naturally occur.
In that sense, high knee lift is more of a symptom of running fast—not the cause. That's why it's entirely possible to sprint with high knees and still fall drastically short of your true top-speed potential.
Resisted sprinting exercises/drills are a great way to enhance your ground force.
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