Sprinting Tips to Improve Your Performance
Are you looking for sprinting tips? There are certain elements involved in the art of sprinting that can affect just how fast one is able to run. If these elements are not carefully coordinated, it could mean a slower overall sprint which could hurt your chances in a competition. Take a look at the following sprinting tips that may just help you improve your overall performance.
Have you ever felt that your arm movement feels a bit awkward? There is a good chance that your arms are actually holding you back. As you sprint your arms are meant to be crooked at a 90 degree angle where they can swing alongside your body. The trick to proper arm movement is to push your elbows backward as hard as possible. The level to which you swing your arms upwards really is not of much concern as your body is likely to work this out naturally. Try not to let your arms loosen at your sides or become floppy, as this is likely to slow you down. Just concentrate on keeping your arms tucked in close and push them backwards as fast as possible as you run.
Get Off on the Right Foot
It is very important that you make sure to start off with the right foot. This is typically the dominant foot. If you are not sure which foot is your dominant one, try sitting in a chair, then when you stand take care to notice which foot steps forward first. Some people find this test difficult because they feel that their movements are influenced by thinking about which foot should step forward. As an alternative you could have someone push you from behind and see which foot steps out first. Whichever foot appears to be dominant, then this should be the foot that you push off with, as it will move forward quicker and with more force. As you push off, remember to use your toes to give you the highest propulsion.
Watch Your Step
The way each foot falls to the ground as you run could shave seconds off of your stride. As you sprint, you should ensure that the overall movement of your foot, from the time you pick it up off of the ground to the time it returns, makes a circular motion. Your foot shouldn’t land on the ground in a straight motion but rather at more of an angle so that as your foot meets the ground it is already moving backward.
Short and Sweet
It is a common belief that the longer a person’s stride is the quicker they run. This really isn’t true, unless you are a giant, that is! In truth, the more often your toes push off from the ground, the speedier your gait will be. So make sure that you take shorter strides by increasing their frequency. It is also important that you do not allow your feet to land in front of you, but rather directly under your center.
Could it be that muscle tension is holding you back? Sure it could! If the muscles in your neck and shoulders are tense while you run, they could cause counterproductive movements, not to mention the fact that tensing muscles unnecessarily is a colossal waste of energy. This tension can also keep you from looking straight ahead (which is exactly where your head should be looking).
Learning to control your breathing can be one of the most difficult sprinting tips to follow, but it has a direct effect on your performance. Your breathing determines how much oxygen your blood cells can deposit to your muscles. Without the proper amount of oxygen, your muscles simply cannot perform at their top capabilities. Practice breathing into your nose and out of your mouth. Try to keep your breathing synchronized with the pace of your stride. You can start out by practicing this breathing technique as you walk around the store or in your house until you get the hang of it.