2. Compact Arms

2. Compact Arms

The biggest form problem we see with most runners is that they swing their arms too much, especially forward. Elite runners have very compact arm movement when running. They keep their hands quite high, with their wrists brushing up against their ribs, quickly popping their elbows back and letting them passively recover while the other elbow is popping back. They also keep their arms moving in a front-to-back motion instead of a side-to-side motion.

To increase efficiency, keep your arms compact and close to your chest at somewhere near a 90-degree angle—most runners carry their arms far too low. Unless you are sprinting, don’t allow your elbows to come forward past your hips or your fists to cross the midline of your chest. For reference, the average runner moving at 10 minutes/mile pace should only have about 3″ or arm movement.

Think “Chicken Wings” or “Wrists to Ribs”:
– Short, compact, relaxed arm movement
– Pump back and recover forward
– Elbows should not extend in front of the waist unless sprinting

Quick Tip: Use Heavy Hands, strap on water bottles, or 1–2 pound hand weights on easy runs to find your most efficient arm movement and angle.



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