The role of the arms is to stabilize the torso so that power can continue to be efficiently transferred through the hips. It is this ability to transfer power effectively through the center of mass(body) that not only improves rate of acceleration, but also facilitates reaching maximum speed, maintaining those top speeds and reducing the rate of deceleration.
The forearm angle should be between 80-90 degrees at the elbow and your bicep should be between 90-100 degrees, at the elbow. If your arm angles fall outside of this range, your running mechanics will be negatively affected. In short, you'll run slower and get tired faster. When running the arm swing should be initiated at and through the shoulders.
As the runners distance increases, it becomes more vital to teach the proper arm mechanics to promote endurance, efficiency, and prevent injury. Teaching the proper arm mechanics in distance runners is just as important as teaching it in sprinting because the arms are used over a longer period of time. The difference in sprints and distance is simple range of the forward motion. In sprints, the hand drives up to the chin at a quicker pace and in distance it only drives to the bottom of the chest but slower. One of the causes of injuries in running is the over exaggeration of arms which can lead to over striding.
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