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Orange County, California

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  • Greg Hodel

Scissoring the arms and arm movement.

The arms are a very important part of running at any speed. It is easy to see how they might be the least emphasized since the legs are the natural focus. The arms will always move with the same frequency as the legs. If they didn’t, then at some point the arms would not be moving opposite of the legs. The arms can be, and are probably most commonly, passive in response the the leg movement. When focusing on the legs, the arms just follow the leg movement and don’t generate any complementary force.


The arms can also be active and generate force to increase stride length and stride frequency. In order to bring the right arm forward faster, also focus on bringing the left arm back faster. The left arm in this example can be thought of as the trigger for bringing the right arm forward faster. Just as the legs can’t move faster than the arms, one arm can’t move faster than the other arm. Here we can think of a scissoring concept to coordinate the movement of each arm. The arm movement can also become a trigger for the leg movement. The arm drive forward can be connected to activating the glutes on the same side. The beginning of the arm strike downward can be connected to starting to curl the trailing leg on the same side. As more connections are established between the different components, the body gets closer to moving as a harmonious system of complementary movements. The connections allow you to simply focus on one or two components which are triggers for the other connected components.

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