How to Properly Sprint

Increasing your sprinting speed begins with knowing how to sprint properly. The proper stance, takeoff and form help to propel your body toward the finish line without wasting energy. You might want to work with a running coach, or a qualified sprinter, to help perfect your running form. Another option is to have someone record your stance and sprint on camera to help you see where to make improvements so you can sprint properly.

A man and woman are running outside. (Image: Volodymyr Goinyk/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Determine which leg you will start with by standing straight and jumping forward. The leg that moves forward is your starting leg. A right-handed person tends to lead with the left leg.

Step 2

Get into the starting stance by placing your lead foot at the starting line and bend the knee at a 45-degree angle.

Step 3

Place your hands on the ground, next to the lead leg, and lower your head into a comfortable position between your arms. Relax your body to limit tension.

Step 4

Listen for the starting announcement. Raise your butt when you hear “Ready.” Focus when you hear the word “Set.” Pull your rear pushing leg forward in a jumping motion when you hear “Go.”

Step 5

Pull your body into an upright running position as you begin to sprint forward. Keep your arms bents at the elbow and pump them up and down in a smooth motion.

Step 6

Relax while you sprint to maintain speed. Avoid tensing your body or turning your head to see where the other runners are.

Step 7

Run on your toes and bring your knees up to a 90-degree angle to increase your pushing force as the foot hits the ground.

Step 8

Continue to sprint forward until after your foot crosses the finish line.


Include a strength-training program for the legs and core muscles two to three times a week if your goal is also to sprint faster.

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