Track/XC (Video): Seated Running Drill
Produces Better Arm-Swing Technique

Dick Moss

Crossing the arms past the center-line of the body is a common error in running. It's an inefficient technique because it wastes energy moving the arms in a direction that's not straight down the track. It also may produce an energy-wasting over-rotation of the upper body.

Ideally, your students' arms should move straight forward-and-back or angle inward only to a spot forward of the midpoint of the body.

Here's how runners can groove the correct swing path for their arms. The following drill also keeps the arms bent at 90 degrees during the swing

The Seated Running Drill
Have your students sit on the floor with legs outstretched and arms bent at right angles, hands beside the hips. On your signal, they should swing their arms in a running action, brushing the side of their hips with their palms as the arms pass back and forth. The hands should follow the side the legs as the move forward and upward.

By placing the hands in a position outside the hips, the legs will block the arms from crossing immediately in front of the body. The easiest action is to follow the outside of the legs in a forward direction.

The other advantage of this seated position is that it allows your students to focus totally on their arms-the legs are eliminated as a distraction.

The video below demonstrates the Seated Running Drill

Reference: Jon Junkin. Jon Junkin was the Sprints/Hurdles coach with the Track North Athletic Club, in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.


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© 2008, Physical Education Update,

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