Many people are resorting to sprinting to lose weight. It is one of the best cardiovascular exercises that improves stamina, metabolism, and is effective for weight loss. This activity involves running short distances at the maximum speed. However, to achieve maximum benefits, it is important to understand the technique. Even as an athlete, you need to be aware of the right technique to be able to sprint well and ultimately win a race.
When you begin, it is important that the start be comfortable in order to help you attain the right amount of speed. To do so, while you are in the block, ensure that your best foot is forward. This means, put forward the foot with which you would like to begin sprinting, and the one that you are most comfortable with. This will help you gain speed at the start. Whether it's the left foot or the right, you would get to know it during the practice sessions.
Keep the Initial Movement Minimal
While you are in the block, you are in a position where your upper body is leaning downwards, and your hips are at a level slightly higher than your shoulders. In such a case, it is essential that you remain still, until the call to start the race. Any vigorous movement that takes place at this time, just before the call, can hinder your forward motion and affect your speed. However, the body should not be completely still, but in very slight motion, to get the body ready to sprint. In such a case, very slightly, slide your hips backwards while on the block. Upon the call, this motion will lunge you forward with greater speed.
Picking Up Speed and the Right Posture
As soon as the call is announced with a whistle or a gunshot, you will lunge forward with your knees. Slowly, your body will move upwards as you begin picking up speed. While in motion, maintaining the right body posture is essential, in order to attain the right speed. Keeping the body upright is considered to be the right posture. Though some may believe that leaning forwards while running increases the speed, it is important to remember, that doing so can lead to severe injury of the back, and ultimately reduce the overall speed. The spine should be erect at all times with the head straight in line with the spine. You should look ahead at all times.
The Breathing Pattern
While you sprint, ensure that you attune your body to a normal breathing pattern. This means that as soon as you shoot off from the block, exhale heavily and then take small short breaths, and exhale from the mouth. By following this technique regularly, your body will get acquainted with it and develop a stamina for this breathing pattern, which will prevent you from hyperventilating.
As you shoot off from the block, start off from the balls of your feet. Though several people assume that it is the toes that enhance speed, in reality, they are weak and do not provide the necessary strength as the balls of feet do. As you start running, your knees should be moving up and down, with your feet and toes flexed upwards. As such, your thighs will or should be parallel to the ground. Each stride should not exceed an angle of 45 degrees, as this will reduce your speed. This technique not only increases the speed, but also reduces the risk of injury.
The Role of Arms
In order to sprint faster, bring your arms in motion. With your body erect while running, ensure that your shoulders are relaxed. Do not hunch or put your shoulders in a permanent shrug, as that would stiffen the muscles, which in turn would lead to pain and affect the speed. The hands should be open, and the fingers should be slightly curved. Do not close your hands into fists, as this creates unnecessary stress on the hands. Move your hands in sync with your legs. While in motion, bring your arms back towards your hips. This will even help in strengthening your leg movements.
Executing this technique properly will help you to develop the necessary efficiency to get the desired results. It is best to consult your physician and ensure that you are not prone to any injury before you begin following this technique.
Disclaimer: This FitnessVigil article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert advice.