Monday, November 15, 2010
9. Correct arm usage for runners
Ensure that the arms remain bent at the elbow at 90* or even more closed; I often use a little pebble, held in the crook of the elbow & not to be dropped while running, to drill this component. The lowest part of the arm, at any point during the swing must be the elbow; the shorter the lever the quicker it can be swung. If there are no deficiencies elsewhere, the arms should be swung symmetrically under the shoulder – i.e. when the thighs are parallel during the running gait, the forearms should be parallel with each other & the surface & the middle of the forearm should be directly underneath the armpit/shoulder. Keep the hand above the short line. When viewed from the front the hand should be inside (or nearer the body than the elbow). If possible keep each arm on the outside of the sternum & try not to cross the center line. Some good runners do however do this & it is not a deal-breaker. What is a deal-breaker though is rotating the upper body across the line of travel where clearly there is a “disconnect” between the torso & the legs.
Good runners even close the elbow angle when the arm is swung to the front & open it somewhat when swung to the rear. Keep the hands loose & the wrists firm, with the thumb on the forefinger as a general rule of, um, thumb!
Relaxed, bent, coordinated, quick, rearward punching arms will help you be a more effective runner.
Bobby McGee – Bobby McGee Endurance Sports