Ben Oliver of CrossFit Football breaks down sprint mechanics by focusing first on the upper body.
He begins with the seated arm swing, in which he has athletes start with the right hand at the front cheek and the left hand punching back behind the butt.
“We have to understand that posture. We can develop that posture in the weight room. We can also develop it by just doing this,” says Oliver, showing that the shoulder blades must be squeezed together during the movement.
Next is the kneeling arm swing.
“Hand position, driving up, or our punch position, is gonna control what? Your opposite knee and how high it goes ,” Oliver notes. “The harder I can drive my hand up, the faster my feet are going to turn.”
Then it’s on to the standing arm swing, after which Luke Summers takes the group through several running warm-ups with high knees.
During the drill, he’s looking for two things: “Good arm swing (and) nice, elevated high knee.”
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Additional reading: Acceleration Mechanics by Karl Geissler and John Baumann, published April 1, 2006.