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How to Properly Sprint

author image Jennifer Loucks
Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
How to Properly Sprint
A man and woman are running outside. Photo Credit: Volodymyr Goinyk/iStock/Getty Images

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.

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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.

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