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Running Drills to Improve Form and Speed

The arms are a vital part of the running motion they help create balance, the lifting of a runners’ knee and the forward drive movement. If you can improve the running arm swing, you can significantly increase speed and help increase endurance by making the arms more efficient. The arms account for 40% of the running motion while the legs and the core accounts for the remaining 60%. For example, try to run without moving your arms and you will be slower and fatigue faster.


Demonstrate the proper running arm swing driving arms up to the chin and down to the hip. Make sure the hands are vertical and slightly open to relax. Driving the arms up and back will quickly eliminate any poor running arm swing. Divide your runners into two groups of sprinters and distance runners. The sprinter running arm swing will be similar to that of a distance runner but with a higher and quicker motion. The distance runner arm swing will be a little shorter and slower motion. It is very important for the runners to control the speed and range of motion. Controlling the rhythm and range of motion of the running arm swing, will create speed and endurance while running. The runner arm swing trainer is a great active training tool to teach the proper running form.  As the runner drives the arms back and down,  the elastic webbing will spring the arm forward generating power and speed.

Drill 1

Have each runner perform the arm motion in a sitting position with the running arm swing trainer. This will allow the runner to focus and control the range and motion of the running arm swing without having to focus on running.

Drill 2

Have the runner perform the same running arm swing while standing. If done correctly, you should see the hips firing ready to lift the legs. Make sure there is no twisting motion, which is caused by the arms crossing the body midline. The hands have to brush the side of the hips and up to the chest.

Drill 3

Start walking to perform the proper arm motion up to 50 – 100 meters and continue to make sure the arms drive up to the chest and down to the hip.

Drill 4

Continue focusing on the range and motion of the arm drive while running 50-100 meters. It is important the runner controls the upward and downward motion to develop effective and efficient arm movement. This will create improved endurance and speed.




"Perfect practice = perfect performance"

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