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How to run a 40-yard sprint

We all know how important the 40-yard dash is. I’ve seen that a tenth of a second makes the difference between a player being selected as an undrafted free agent after the NFL draft and not being selected. absolutely.

Below are some of the tips that can help you improve your 40-yard dash time.

You will see that they are divided into four parts: posture, start, sprint and training.

However, before we begin, I wanted to mention the importance of heating properly. I will not go into the details of exactly What you warm up, but you want to make sure you at least sweat a bit before running your first 40 in a test event.

You need to have a high body temperature to run faster. Try to keep moving and warming up all the way to the moment just before you run.

Disclaimer: Your coach or track coach may teach some of these philosophies a little differently. With that said, I’m sure most coaches will agree with most of the information you’ll read below.

Let’s start with the posture.


You need to get comfortable with your starting posture long before you show up for the test day. You should be so used to it that it feels like second nature.

Front hand positioning – Your front hand, which should be your dominant hand (in most cases), should be aligned parallel to the starting line and should be positioned as close to the starting line as possible.

Rear hand / arm positioning – Going up, I was trained to put my rear arm up in the air above my back before exploding off the blocks.

But today, more and more trainers are training their clients to hold their back arm in a 90 degree angle position, positioned to the side or on their butt.

The philosophy behind this is that if your hand is in the air, the timers will start the clock when that hand moves.

The problem is, if your hand is in the air, they will probably start the timer long before you’ve started moving forward. So you may have hundredths or tenths of a second under 40 before you start running.

Weight distribution – When lining up, shift 90% of your weight to your front hand and foot, and lean forward, so your shoulders are as far from the starting line as you can stand, before rolling over.

This shortens the distance you have to travel to the finish line.

Front leg positioning – When you’re in your starting position, make sure your front leg is your power leg.

If you are unsure of which is your power leg, it is usually the one you would prefer to jump with if you had to choose between the two. If that still doesn’t help you identify it, it is usually the foot opposite your dominant hand.

Your power leg should be six to nine inches behind the starting line, and the toes of your rear foot should be in line with the end of the heel of your power leg.

Shin positioning – While in your pose, your shins should be as parallel to the ground as possible. If your legs are vertical (that is, perpendicular to the ground), when you start, your first move will be to crouch down before shooting out of your stance.

That is not what you want. You want to move as fast as possible.


Since the watch starts on its first movement, it must be coordinated to the point where it advances at the same time that your hand is lifted off the ground.

Stay away from blocks – When you come out of your stance, stay low.

To give you a good picture of what I mean, when you are in your posture, imagine that you are about to hit a 100 mph wind. What would happen if you ran on your feet in a 100 mph wind?

That’s right, you would be impressed. So stay away from the blocks.

Rear leg movement / hands-free – Work to make sure you are shooting your back leg and free hand forward as your first move when you come off the blocks.

First step – Make sure your first step is short and powerful. Too big a first step will cause you to lose your balance and overdo it, making it difficult to maintain your full power.

You will find that some coaches are of the opinion that your first step should be as big as possible, so that you can gain as much ground as possible, as quickly as possible.

I say play with both philosophies to find the one that works best for you.

If you find that taking a big first step makes you feel a little off balance, switch to a smaller first step off the blocks.

Head positioning – Make sure to keep your head down as you take the first step. By keeping your head low while shooting your free hand, you stay in a solid load-driving position, helping you avoid climbing into a position where acceleration is difficult.


Running in a straight line – The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so make sure you run in a straight line. This is one of the most common mistakes people make in their 40s.

If you can, record yourself running the 40-yard dash while having cleats lined up on either side of you as you approach the finish line. This will help you identify whether or not you have a tendency to wonder to one side or the other.

If you find it is, try to position yourself to the far left or right of the starting line when you get into position. Then, as you run, you can use the cone line next to you as a guide to help you run straight.

Finish strong – Make sure you run to the finish line. It’s human nature to give in a little when you get to the finish line.

You can avoid this by visualizing that the finish line is 5 yards past the finish line.

Tricking yourself into running a 45-yard dash will help keep you from giving in when passing the timers.


Start training – As I said before, your beginning is extremely important. An important factor in getting off to a good start is being comfortable in the starting position.

The only way to know what is comfortable for you is to experiment until you find what is comfortable for you and practice your posture and start over and over again until it feels like second nature.

Practice at least a dozen 10-yard starts every time you go out to practice in your 40s.

Weight distribution – As I mentioned in the position In the section above, when you line up, you want 90% of your body weight to be supported by your front hand and foot, and to lean forward so your shoulders are as far from the starting line as possible.

To practice this and get comfortable with it, practice getting into your starting position, then leaning forward until you drop.

After falling a few times, check where you are. straight Before you break down This is the position you want to be in your starting position.

This is where most of your body weight leans forward, and this ensures that the first movement you make is towards the finish line, rather than a useless movement in another direction.

Arm / leg frequency – You want to increase the frequency of your arm pumping motion. One thing you can do is try to stand still with your feet parallel to each other in an athletic stance and grab a light weight in each hand, as if you were running in place.

Then practice pumping your arms as fast as you can, for 10 to 20 seconds, as if you were actually running.

Then try doing it without the weights.

Focus on bringing your arms back and keeping the rest of your body under control and leaning toward the finish line.

40-yard weighted sprints – Try to run the 40 with the light dumbbells and drop them at the midpoint.

Blast Training – Try training by doing “drop”. To do this, you will need a partner and a padded belt or towel that a partner can hold from behind while you explode from your start.

Have them resist your movement for the first 5 to 10 meters and then release. Once released, explode another 10-20 meters.

Let-go’s help you develop explosive power through endurance and teach you upper and lower body coordination.

Speeding training – To do this, you will need a slight downhill run for a run, or a partner behind you to give you your stamina with a Flexicord device.

If you are going to use a hill instead of the flexible cable, understand that the hill does not have to be too steep. The slope you are looking for is similar to the slope you would notice if the soccer field you are training on has a slight crown.

Speeding training teaches your body to move at faster speeds than it is used to. This teaches your brain and neuromuscular system to suppose these high speeds.

Wait until you only have a few weeks left before testing before taking it.

So this is far from a complete how to run the 40 yard dash, but hopefully it will guide you in the right direction.

Good luck and work hard; you never know how it will pay off in the end. Remember that a tenth or two of your 40s can mean the difference between playing with the big boys on Saturday or Sunday, or sitting on the couch with your friends. looking games on Saturdays and Sundays.

Alvin helps professional athletes as an employee of the Elite Sports Agency.

In his spare time, he maintains Get2TheLeague.com, a resource designed to provide future professional soccer players with the information they need to improve their chances of achieving their soccer dreams.

He is also the author of Move the Chains: Keys to Unlock a Professional Soccer Career for the Unselected Player, a book that provides guidance to prospective professional players on how they can improve their chances of playing professionally.

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