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Training Tip Of The Week: Arm Pump

The tip of the week is arm pump, and how 90% of athletes don’t have correct arm pump.  Why?  1) Coaches don’t know how to teach it and 2) it is simply not practiced enough.  Arm Pump.

How many times in practice have you heard a Lax, Soccer, Football, Baseball, or Basketball Coach make a comment to a player about not having good running technique (arm drive, knee drive, toe up, chest up, etc)?!?!?!  And I’m not even going to start on gym teachers.   But then again, many of our sport coaches are not formally educated in Biology or Kinesiology, so why would they know?  It is the system’s fault.

Arm Pump 101

Arm should be at 90 degrees and should stay there (unless the athlete is advanced, which probably isn’t you).   The hands should be either open or the index and middle fingers should be touching the thumbs like holding a potato chip or egg.  I prefer the latter options because having the hands open on a novice athlete will lead to them becoming to stiff.  They will then look like they are making “chop sewy”.  Athletes are graceful and smooth.  They don’t look like they are pooping a dinosaur (Editor’s Note: we have no idea what this means either, but it was too 2nd grade funny to question).  Again, if the athlete can maintain a relaxed state with the arms and shoulders then I’m fine with what they are comfortable with.

The arms should be pumped hip to chin.  The arm drive focus should be “back”.  The stretch reflex created with this backward drive should handle the “up” swing.  The arms should not cross the body.

When starting or changing directions the arm drive should be much “higher” and/or more pronounced as the athlete accelerates.  As they reach around 20 yards (depending on the athlete), the arm drive should normalize as stated above.

And before you plugs ask….  No, the shake weight won’t make you run faster.