Author Topic: Moving Upper Body Side to Side While Sprinting  (Read 2837 times)

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100m200m

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Moving Upper Body Side to Side While Sprinting
« on: June 17, 2009, 11:21:27 pm »
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Here's a youtube video I found of Tyson Gay:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujEjRy-u0Yw

He runs with a kind of side to side motion in his upper body.  Usain Bolt does kind of the same thing as well:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vno5qQmE6qk&feature=channel

Here's a youtube video of Ben Johnson:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gFXa4AcD5w

He runs without moving his upper body so much.

My first reaction would be to think that the style of Ben Johnson in the second video is much more efficient but Tyson Gay and definitely Usain Bolt are both two of the best sprinters in history and it would seem strange that one of them would have bad form.  They both have been running for a while under coaches which have helped them constantly improve so if there was something that could be fixed as easily as that side to side movement then they would have fixed it.

What would cause them to run differently and what would be the advantages of each type of style?  Does it have to do with the fact that Ben was one of the greatest starters while Tyson and Usain are known as two of the greatest finishers?

100m200m

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Re: Moving Upper Body Side to Side While Sprinting
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2009, 12:54:28 am »
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One of the things I noticed is that when Ben Johnson pumps his arms, they are more angled inwards.  Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay pump their arms more straight upwards.

Charlie Francis says that the hips should naturally rotate a bit when running to give greater stride length.  Ben Johnson could have been pumping his arms inwards to counteract the turning of his hips.

I don't really know what this means about the other two.  Their arms go up more so they don't rotate their upper bodies as much to compensate for the turning of their hips and they go side to side to compensate?  If that is the case I'm pretty sure they would be better off running more like Ben.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 12:57:32 am by 100m200m »

adarqui

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Re: Moving Upper Body Side to Side While Sprinting
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2009, 01:11:33 am »
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ya this is a confusing issue.. you have some coaches that would spend day and night trying to fix tyson/bolt's arm/torso movement... then you have others that wouldnt spend much time on it.

i could only imagine tyson/bolt are getting more power out of their shoulders.. somehow this isnt messing up their stride mechanics etc..

unless it's just some kind of leverage/structural difference bolt/tyson have which causes them to do that over ben.. most people don't run like ben though.. it's probably 50/50.. i'd think tyson/bolt's arms are relatively longer than ben's.

hm..

Slowman

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Re: Moving Upper Body Side to Side While Sprinting
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2009, 10:07:29 am »
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Some would say that there is a core issue there or some imbalance as it looks like Gay has a slight hitch sometimes. But who cares. If it aint broke...

LBSS

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Re: Moving Upper Body Side to Side While Sprinting
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2010, 04:50:39 pm »
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Bit late to the party here, but basically, what slowman said. Charlie Francis himself ridicules the idea that elite athletes' techniques should be "fixed." Or, to put it differently, that they should be changed to conform with somebody's idea of "perfect" form. IIRC, one of Ben Johnson's feet turned out a little bit while he sprinted. If Gay or Bolt moves side to side or pumps their arms funny, it's because over the 10-15 years they've spent becoming the best in the world, that hitch or whatever helps them be awesome.

If you've got a beginner with goofy technique, then you can try to fix it, but in the end everyone is idiosyncratic and once someone is at an elite level, anything that looks weird or off is probably not a bad thing.
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