The hands and arms are critical for running the fastest and most efficiently, regardless of distance. Conventional coaching instruction is to relax the hands. The logic is that tension in the hands will radiate up through the arms resulting in tightness and restriction in the shoulders. If the shoulders are tight and restricted, arm swing will be inefficient and running speed and endurance will be reduced.

This makes sense on the surface as restriction in the shoulders will in fact slow you down. However, it is possible to create “correct tension" in the hands that can reduce tension in the shoulders, increase efficiency and speed of arm swing to increase running speed. It is still essential to understand and be capable of relaxing your hands, especially for distance running. But understanding how to create correct tension with your hands can help you to accelerate and sprint faster. Distance runners can also increase the speed of their “kick" and ultimately learn to use relaxation and "correct tension" techniques in harmony to incorporate their hands more effectively while running.

While many sprint coaches insist on teaching their sprinters to relax their hands regardless of distance (the longer the distance, the more effective relaxation works), many of the world's top sprinters defy this conventional wisdom. Some examples include Carl Lewis, Ben Johnson, Florence Griffeth Joiner, Usain Bolt (at the start), Tyson Gay (at the start). All of these world class sprinters ran and set world records when they splayed their hands with fingers wide and correct tension in their hands. You can test and confirm the increase tension this hand position creates for you right now. Spread your hands wide and keep your fingers straight. Compare this with consciously relaxing your hands and you will feel the significant difference.

WeckMethod teaches 8 specific hand positions to fully optimize your movement capabilities during speed camp,functional training certifications, and in person seminars. The remainder of this article will focus on one of the WeckMethod hand positions that can be used by athletes to accelerate faster from a 2 point stance (standing).

This position is called the “C-Fist". The C-Fist is formed by flexing the muscles of the hand while extending the fingers straight. This hand position sets a tensional balance in the hands that results in a better Core Connection of the hands without restricting the shoulders when done correctly. There is a learning curve for some people, while others can see and feel (and confirm with the clock) better results right away.

WeckMethod C Fist

To learn the C-Fist, bring your hands to the center of your chest in a prayer position.Keep the heels of your hands together and flex your hands to pull the tips of your fingers down keeping them straight and together.

Spread your fingers about ¼" and put tension into this position. Without changing the position of each hand, separate them holding this position tight. Move your body and test whether you can feel the “lift" this position creates throughout your body.

WeckMethod C Fist Closeup

Some people can instantly increase their acceleration speed in our clinics with this approach while others may need more time to harness this technique.

After studying many world class sprinters and athletes using frame-by-frame video analysis, allow me to show you the best example of a world class speedster who used the C-Fist to run faster than anyone in the NFL. And in my opinion was one of, if not the fastest, athletes of all time for 60 meters or less.

Below is an array of photos of Deion Sanders. You will see that the C-Fist is engrained in his muscle memory so deeply that he uses it virtually all the time, whether he is sprinting or not.

Deion Sanders Football

Deion Sanders Suiting Up

Not only does the C-Fist increase acceleration speed, it also enhances agility, and the ability to stop and change direction on a dime. To fully harness the C-Fist you can learn to create the “WeckMethod Double Down Pulse". Until then practice the simple C-Fist techniques outlined above and see how well it works for you.

Enjoy the photos of Deion…and I hope you find the joy that comes from learning to run faster my friends!

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