How to apply more force to the ground when sprinting?

If you are a sprinter, you’d definitely want to be on top of your game. There’s no better way of improving your overall speed than understanding how to apply more force to the ground when sprinting. When you are sprinting, each individual step is important, so you have to know how to maximize your force in order to generate that speed while sprinting.

In this post, we’ll discuss the 5 main parts of your sprinting mechanics that’ll help you put the maximum force down into the ground. Since the best way to understand something is to learn it from the best in the business, we’ll do the same. There’s no sprinter out there who is able to apply more force to the ground than Usain Bolt.

Let’s have a look at the 5 musts to maximize the force into the ground when sprinting.

1.      Vertical & Horizontal Force

It’s important to know that horizontal force is also vital when it comes to sprinting mechanics. So, when we talk about generating force into the ground, we’ll take both the horizontal and the vertical forces into account.

If you observe Usain Bolt’s run more closely, you can see that he gets height as he is pushing off the ground and he is staying straight as he sprints. The key is to note that as you push off the ground, you should push upwards (vertically).

how to apply more force to the ground when sprinting?

2.      Full Range of Motion within Legs

There are two important things to keep in mind when we talk about the full range of motion within legs. The first one is limiting the knee height and the second one is an extension of the leg as it’s coming through.

When you observe Usain Bolt, you’ll see that he brings his leg all the way up towards his butt and he’s able to drive his knee right up and through. He cycles the legs quickly while bending the knee and bringing his foot back behind him.

Also check out: What Is Turnover Speed? An Analysis

3.      Putting Leg Back and Down

This allows you to create more vertical and horizontal force when you are sprinting. You should be able to achieve maximum force (Newtons) production. If you roughly calculate these forces, guys like Usain Bolt create up to 2800-3000 Newtons of force.

If you are to divide the force production to better understand the sprinting mechanics, you should focus on creating around 2500 Newtons vertically and the remaining should be a horizontal force. Putting a large amount of force on the ground is essential for this motion.

People often make the mistake of extending their front leg forward too much and that limits their ability to put force into the ground. As a sprinter, you should maintain the right position when extending your leg and putting it back and down.

4.      Necessary Strength for Lower Body

The lower core (transverse abdominis) is vital for strength and force production. It helps you stabilize your hips and allows you to generate more force. You also need to be strong within your quads, hamstrings, and cap.

Overall, a strong lower half of your body will significantly contribute towards generating more force to the ground. It doesn’t mean you can compromise on your upper body. You need to find the right balance to generate maximum force.

5.      Stabilization

When your foot hits the ground, you can’t have any extra movements (action). The focus should be to land with your knee straight and transition without spending a lot of time bending your knee. A big part of stabilization is to absorb the force when landing your foot on the ground.

All five things explained above are critical to applying maximum force to the ground. You have to be able to generate and control the force. You might not be able to do it during the first few attempts, but as you practice more, you’ll be able to master these movements and increase your overall speed.

Quick Recap:

Let’s have a quick recap of what we’ve learned so far about how to apply more force to the ground when sprinting:

  • Being able to get a vertical push off
  • Having full range of motion within your legs
  • Pulling your leg back and down
  • Natural power and strength within your lower body
  • Control and stabilize your balance

Read more: Top 10 Secrets To Improve Speed Immediately | Spring Mechanics

Final words

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