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Ben Torres's picture

Use Your Arms To Run Faster On The Soccer Field

The proper use of your arms is sometimes neglected in proper running mechanics. And in soccer where speed is crucial, your potential to run faster on the soccer field may be limited if you fail to properly use them. Proper use of your arms or “arm action” as is often called, keeps your trunk stable and allows your core to properly transfer energy from your upper body to your legs. This creates speed and serves as a natural connection between your legs and your arms. You also mirror the action of your arms. As your arms move faster, so too do your legs. Here’s how to properly use your arms while running:

First off, make sure your hands are relaxed. Tight shoulders and arms will slow down your arm movement and prevent you from increasing your speed.Keep your elbows bent somewhere between 60-90 degrees. You should maintain this when you’re running. When you swing your arms back, use your shoulder to swing your elbows down and back. Do not just try to swing them straight back because this could cause you to shrug your shoulders up and tighten up. When you swing your arms through, swing your hands up to your chin, while maintaining your bent elbows at 60-90 degrees. Swing your arms forward, not out or across. Since your legs mirror what your arms do, it’s important to keep your arms swinging straight. Swinging your arms across your body or away from your side will likely slow you down. Since running is a very fluid motion, it can be difficult to work on developing proper arm action without getting frustrated.

The use of drills can be helpful in developing a good habit for using your arms while running. Here is a drill that many track athletes do, that you can do for soccer. Stand in an athletic position and place a miniband around your elbow and hand. Bend your elbows around 60- 90 degrees. From here, simply swing your arms, focusing on maintaining the tension of the minibands. When you are comfortable with your technique, increase your arm speed. Perform this drill 3 sets for 30 seconds each, 3-4 times a week to develop a habit of proper arm action.

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