Air Time in Sprinting and Hurdling


How much time in the air is enough? In hurdling the less time you are in the air the better. In sprinting an optimal amount of time in the air is important. First, too much time in the air is not necessary and hip height should be mainly positive. A lot of people wonder why elites have less air time than intermediates but more than beginners. Vertical forces are real, and displacement of center of mass is 3-8 cm for elites now. The more important measurement is knee bend and stride frequency and leg length. Provided the leg length is maxing out the stride with a focus on improving frequency the athlete will get faster because of the quality and quantity of work on foot contact. Good sprinters don’t look boundy on tape but many feel boundy sprinting since they are not killing elastic responses with too much knee bend. As the intermediate sprinter develops, the vertical displacement might be less but the positive work will increase, resulting in faster times.
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Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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