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Sprinting on Toes Vs. Balls of Feet

author image Nicole Vulcan
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.
Sprinting on Toes Vs. Balls of Feet
Have a coach photograph your sprinting form so you can find ways to improve. Photo Credit: nd3000/iStock/Getty Images

If you're a competitive sprinter, then you probably already know that even small changes can mean the difference between winning or losing a race. A great deal goes into proper sprinting technique, and the position of your feet during landing is just one important factor. By using the right part of your foot, you'll able to incorporate a spring-type action that can make your times as fast as possible.

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Somewhere In Between

You're wondering whether you're supposed to land on the balls of your feet or your toes. The answer is that you should do a little of both. Coaches teach sprinters to seek out that "sweet spot" that is ever so slightly ahead of the ball of the foot, but not quite as far forward as the toes. Olympic track coach Dr. Nicholas Romanov calls the proper stance the "S-spring stance," indicating a stance in which your weight is balanced on that spot just in front of the ball of your foot and your knee is bent -- making the perfect condition to create a "spring" motion that can propel you forward in the most efficient manner possible.

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