In this blog post, we will discuss the keys to an explosive start (block start). If you are familiar with the world of sprinters, you must’ve heard the names of Christian Coleman and John Ross. Both of them are known for their explosive starts.
In this piece, we’ll analyze and break down the techniques these sprinters follow and try to learn some important lessons that we can use to help us improve our sprinting. These techniques include stance, hips, and spine positions in the push-off, keeping the front foot on the ground for long, and the push-off. We’ll also look at the head position during the process.
In order to better understand these mechanics, I’ll highlight the keys that you need to learn so that you can get that explosive start you’ve always wanted.
Hips and Spine in the Push Off
When starting your sprint, as you push off, most of the coaches tell you to keep your heads down. However, if you’ve ever noticed John Ross, you’d notice that his head is high up, overall. It’s crucial to stay low during the first few steps after the push-off, but that doesn’t mean the head needs to stay low too.
Christian Coleman’s spine position is worth noticing during the start of the sprint. He reorganizes and readjusts his spine position and his spine is much higher than that of his counterparts. In the process, he pushes forward his bodyweight too. This allows him to create a horizontal action and this is the key to an explosive start.
Your spine should be stable as you drive through with the motion. The arms range is also important. And that is going to be our next big key to an explosive start.
Arms Range and Motion
As you begin to run, you should drive your arm back and the opposite arm should drive all the way up. The range of the arm is a crucial aspect to consider when sprinting. You want to make sure there’s plenty of range on both sides of your arms.
This motion helps your legs go, many people don’t realize this and don’t focus on improving the arms' range and motion. Your arms should be able to get all the way through with the motion. It can also help you put your body weight forward as you go. The entire push-off should become a horizontal motion instead of a vertical one.
Foot, Toe Range, and Ankle Stability
At the start of your sprint, your back foot should initially push down. When you come onto your front leg, it’s vital to keep your front foot down. The longer you keep it down, the farther you’ll be able to push with your stride. The distance between your head and your heel should be maximum at this point in order to create that push-off.
As you start your sprint the heel in your first step should be high. When you land on your front foot, you need to make sure it’s stable. However, you should not have your foot flat on the ground and that’s the key here.
As a sprinter, you want to make sure that as you take the first step you land on your toes and your heel stays high and in line with your hip. The entire motion needs to be stable so that you are able to generate force off the ground.
John Ross vs Christian Coleman
If you’re looking for a great block start, you should watch some of the videos of Christian Coleman to get a better idea of what I’ve explained above. However, John Ross is good if you’re looking for a three-point stance and doing a 40.
Both of them are excellent sprinters and Christian Coleman is one of the fastest people in the world. Observing their techniques more closely can certainly give you an edge over your competitors in your sprint.
Also must read: Top 10 Secrets To Improve Speed Immediately | Sprint Mechanics
I hope you found these tips and techniques helpful. I tried to convey the keys to an explosive start (block start) in a nutshell by highlighting the sprinting techniques of two of the best runners in the world. If you are looking for more information about sprinting feel free to visit our official website and explore sprinting programs.
We help you achieve your best by giving you techniques and also giving you breakdowns of your runs. So if you’re someone who is interested in improving the speed and mechanics of your run, contact us and we’ll get back to you very soon.
Have a great day!