Best running drills for arm technique

When it comes to running, many people focus solely on their lower body technique, neglecting the importance of arm movement. However, proper arm technique is crucial for optimal running form and efficiency. Not only do your arms help to balance and stabilize your body, but they also play a significant role in generating power and maximizing speed.

Fortunately, there are several running drills specifically designed to improve arm technique and enhance overall running performance. These drills target the muscles in your arms, shoulders, and upper back, helping you develop proper arm mechanics and coordination.

One of the best running drills for arm technique is the “Arm Drive” drill. In this drill, you focus on driving your arms forward and backward in a controlled and synchronized motion with your leg stride. By maintaining a 90-degree angle at your elbows and pumping your arms back and forth, you activate the muscles in your upper body, promoting a powerful arm swing and a balanced running posture.

Arm Circles

Arm circles are a popular and effective drill for improving arm technique in running. This drill involves making circular movements with the arms, which helps to improve shoulder and arm mobility, as well as coordination and stability.

To perform arm circles, stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms straight out to the sides, parallel to the ground. Begin making small circular movements with your arms, gradually increasing the size of the circles. Focus on maintaining proper form and keeping your shoulders relaxed throughout the movement. You can also vary the direction of the circles, alternating between clockwise and counterclockwise rotations.

Arm circles are beneficial for runners as they help to improve arm drive and rhythm. They also engage the muscles of the upper back, shoulders, and chest, which can enhance overall upper body strength and stability while running. Performing arm circles regularly can also help to improve posture and reduce the risk of injuries, such as shoulder impingement or poor arm swing mechanics.

As with any drill, it’s important to start with smaller movements and gradually increase the intensity and range of motion as your muscles warm up. Incorporating arm circles into your warm-up routine or as a part of your regular training can help to enhance your arm technique and overall running performance.

Overhead press

The overhead press is a fundamental exercise that targets the muscles in the upper body, particularly the shoulders, arms, and upper back. It involves pressing a weight or resistance overhead in a vertical motion, using primarily the strength of the arms and shoulders.

This exercise is commonly performed using dumbbells or a barbell, but can also be done with kettlebells or resistance bands. It helps improve upper body strength, stability, and posture, making it beneficial for runners looking to improve their arm technique and overall performance.

During the overhead press, it is important to maintain proper form and technique. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding the weights at shoulder level, palms facing forward. Engage your core and slowly press the weights overhead, extending your arms fully without locking your elbows. Lower the weights back to shoulder level in a controlled manner and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Incorporating the overhead press into your running drills can help improve arm technique by strengthening the muscles involved in the arm swing. It can also help improve overall upper body coordination and balance, allowing for a smoother and more efficient running stride. Make sure to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the resistance as you become more comfortable and confident with the exercise.

Remember, proper technique is key when performing the overhead press to avoid injury and maximize its benefits. If you are unsure about the correct form, consider working with a qualified fitness professional who can guide you and ensure that you are performing the exercise safely and effectively.

Lateral Arm Swings

Lateral arm swings are a great running drill for improving arm technique and developing strength and coordination in the upper body. This drill focuses on the movement of the arms while running, which can greatly contribute to overall running efficiency and speed.

During lateral arm swings, the runner stands upright with the feet shoulder-width apart and the arms extended out to the sides. The athlete then swings the arms in a lateral motion, moving them back and forth in a controlled manner. This movement mimics the natural arm swing that occurs when running and helps to develop the muscles and joint mobility necessary for proper arm technique.

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It’s important to maintain a relaxed and fluid motion during lateral arm swings. The athlete should strive to keep the shoulders down and relaxed, avoid any excessive twisting or jerky movements, and focus on a smooth and symmetrical swing. This drill can be performed as a warm-up exercise before a run or as a standalone exercise to specifically target arm technique.

By incorporating lateral arm swings into their training routine, runners can improve their running form, enhance overall speed and efficiency, and reduce the risk of injury. This drill helps to develop a strong and coordinated upper body, which is crucial for maintaining balance and stability while running.

High knees with arm drive

High knees with arm drive is a running drill that helps improve arm technique while running. This drill involves lifting the knees as high as possible while driving the arms in a coordinated manner. It helps develop proper arm swing and coordination between the upper and lower body during running.

To perform high knees with arm drive, stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Begin by jogging in place, and gradually lift your knees as high as possible, while keeping your upper body stable and engaged. As you lift your knees, drive your arms forward and backward in a rhythmic motion, ensuring that your elbows are at a 90-degree angle and your fists are relaxed.

Benefits of high knees with arm drive:

  • Improves arm technique and coordination with leg movement
  • Increases overall running economy and efficiency
  • Develops core stability and strength
  • Enhances balance and coordination
  • Helps improve sprinting speed and acceleration

High knees with arm drive is a versatile drill that can be incorporated into warm-up routines or used as a standalone exercise to improve arm technique while running. It targets the muscles in the arms, shoulders, core, and legs, making it a beneficial exercise for runners of all levels.

Improve Your Running Arm Technique with “Clock Arms” Drill

One effective drill for improving arm technique while running is the “Clock Arms” drill. This drill involves visualizing a clock face and using your arms to mimic the movement of the hour and minute hands as you run.

To perform the “Clock Arms” drill, start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides. Imagine that you are standing in the middle of a clock face, with 12 o’clock directly in front of you. As you begin to run, lift your left arm to the 12 o’clock position, which is directly above your head.

As your left arm comes down, your right arm should start to lift to the 12 o’clock position. While both arms are moving, focus on keeping your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle and your hands relaxed. As you continue running, switch back and forth between lifting your arms to the 12 o’clock position and then to the 6 o’clock position, which is directly behind your hips.

This “Clock Arms” drill helps improve your running arm technique by promoting a more natural and efficient arm swing. It helps you maintain a balanced and steady rhythm while running, reducing excess movement and wasted energy. Practice this drill regularly to improve your overall running form and efficiency.

Burpees with Arm Extension: A Powerful Drill to Improve Arm Technique in Running

One of the best drills for enhancing arm technique in running is the burpees with arm extension. This dynamic exercise combines the benefits of burpees, a full-body movement that builds strength and cardiovascular endurance, with targeted arm extensions to improve running arm technique.

During the burpees with arm extension drill, you start in a standing position, then drop down into a push-up position, perform a push-up, and quickly return to the standing position. However, unlike traditional burpees, you also incorporate an arm extension component. As you jump back up from the push-up position, you extend your arms forward, mimicking the arm motion used during running.

This drill helps develop proper arm technique for running by engaging the muscles in your arms, shoulders, and upper back. By incorporating the arm extension, you strengthen the muscles used in the arm swing phase of running, improving your balance, stability, and overall running form. Additionally, the burpees with arm extension drill can enhance your overall running performance by increasing your arm power and efficiency.

To perform burpees with arm extension, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and squat down, placing your hands on the ground in front of you. Jump your feet back and lower your chest towards the ground, performing a push-up. As you push back up, jump your feet forward and explode up into a jump, extending your arms forward. Repeat this sequence for a desired number of repetitions or as part of a circuit training routine.

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Whether you are a beginner or an experienced runner, incorporating burpees with arm extension into your training regimen can greatly improve your arm technique and overall running performance. Consistent practice of this drill will help you develop a strong and efficient arm swing, leading to greater running efficiency and speed.

5 Best running drills for arm technique

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Question and answer:

What are burpees with arm extension?

Burpees with arm extension are a variation of the traditional burpee exercise where you extend your arms overhead after jumping back into the plank position. It adds an extra dynamic movement to the exercise, engaging your upper body and shoulders.

What muscles do burpees with arm extension work?

Burpees with arm extension primarily target your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles. It also engages your legs, glutes, and back muscles.

How do you perform burpees with arm extension?

To perform burpees with arm extension, start in a standing position. Then, squat down and place your hands on the ground. Jump your feet back into a plank position. From here, perform a push-up. As you push yourself back up, jump your feet back towards your hands and explosively jump up with your arms extended overhead. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.

What are the benefits of burpees with arm extension?

Burpees with arm extension provide a full-body workout, as they target multiple muscle groups simultaneously. They help improve cardiovascular endurance, strength, and power. Additionally, they can help increase calorie burn and promote fat loss.

Are burpees with arm extension suitable for beginners?

Burpees with arm extension can be challenging, especially for beginners. It is recommended to start with the basic burpee exercise and gradually progress to the arm extension variation as you build strength and endurance. It is essential to maintain proper form to avoid any potential injuries.

What are burpees with arm extension?

Burpees with arm extension are a variation of the traditional burpee exercise where you add an arm extension at the end. After performing the squat, plank, and push-up motion of a regular burpee, instead of jumping up, you extend your arms overhead in a jumping jack motion. This adds an extra challenge to the exercise and works your upper body as well.


In conclusion, burpees with arm extension are a fantastic exercise for those looking to challenge their cardiovascular fitness, strength, and overall conditioning. This exercise targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously, including the chest, shoulders, arms, glutes, and legs. By incorporating the arm extension, it increases the difficulty level and adds an extra element of upper body engagement. Burpees with arm extension can be modified to suit individual fitness levels and can be easily incorporated into any workout routine. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced athlete, incorporating burpees with arm extension into your fitness regimen can help you achieve your goals and improve your overall fitness level. So, why not give this exercise a try and experience the many benefits it has to offer?

Harrison Clayton

Harrison Clayton

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