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Drive your arms to increase speed

Drive your arms to increase speed

Mark Keil, CSCS

June 22, 2022

The arms play a vital role in speed production. And failure to drive the arms can not only cost you speed, but also energy. 


However, simply moving the arms is not enough. You must move your arms correctly if you’re going to increase your speed.


What’s the correct arm motion? 


Movement should occur front-to-back at the shoulders. Swinging the arms across the body will only make it more difficult to achieve maximum speeds. And you can chop at the elbows all day but not increase your speed. So be intentional about driving your arms at the shoulders. 


And as you drive your arms, try to maintain 90-degrees of flexion in the elbows. I realize that holding this angle at the back position can be tough, but it’s something to work toward. 


Lastly, don’t make a fist with your hand. Run with your hand loosely cupped. If you notice yourself making a fist, then try running with your hands flat. Once you have that motion down, you can slowly start relaxing your hand and it will naturally move to the correct position. 


Overall, this is a relatively easy fix that can yield immediate results.