Has Olympic fever inspired you to up your running game? One aspect you can improve is your speed, and the best way to make that happen is to incorporate sprinting into your workouts. There's an art to running in quick bursts at top speed, so here are some tips to make sure you're sprinting form is lightening fast.
Position is everything: When running at a normal pace, correct form means running with an upright spine. For sprinting, you want to increase the forward momentum as much as possible, so you'll need to lean your chest past your hips so the torso is almost at a 45-degree angle from the ground. Holding your torso low and combating the weight of your upper body will force your feet to move faster.
Get your arms involved: Your arms aren't just for decoration when it comes to sprinting. Keep your hands relaxed to encourage the rest of your upper body to relax, and bend your elbows so your arms are between a 60- and 90-degree angle. Keeping this position will allow you to drive the elbows back instead of extending the arms, which can slow you down. Concentrate on pumping the arms with your full range of motion, initiating each swing at the shoulder joints. This will actually encourage your legs to increase their stride length, which helps you cover more ground at a faster pace. Keep your arms on their designated side of the body so they swing forward and back, rather than crossing them in front of your chest.
Sprint without tension: The tendency when running like a cheetah is to tense every muscle in your body in the hopes that working hard will make you faster. Actually, this can tire your muscles out quickly, making it more difficult for you to keep up your fast pace. It'll be hard at first, but practice relaxing while sprinting, paying special attention to commonly tense areas such as the jaw, shoulders, and hands.