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Bang the Drums

A form exercise that teaches the fundamentals of efficient arm swing

Tags: high school, form



  1. While standing still, runners swing the arms as if running.
  2. Have them imagine hitting drums that rest parallel to the hips. The tops of the drums are facing forward, not upwards and the pinkies and outsides of the hands strike the drum face.
  3. Supply a beat that guides the runners' arm-movement tempo. It can be as simple as clapping or counting ONE-TWO-ONE-TWO.
  4. Then have runners run a short distance while practicing the technique.

Performance Points:

  • Relax the shoulders so the hands pass the body at the hips, not higher or lower.
  • Maintain a full, strong but relaxed arm swing, striking the drums with every swing.
  • Avoid swinging the arms sideways or twisting the torso.
  • Keep the elbows bent at about 90 degrees.
  • Swing the arms from the shoulders, not the elbows.
  • Keep the hands, torso, shoulders, and head stable and relaxed.
  • Swing the arms in opposition to the legs.

Training Specifics:

When: After the pre-workout, warm-up routine; early in the season and repeated as necessary


  • Teaches the fundamentals of efficient arm swing, which decreases counter-productive arm movements and improves upper body stability, allowing for more efficient landings and more powerful takeoffs
  • Develops strong, full arm swing
  • Prevents sideways and twisting motions of the arms and upper body
  • Helps avoid shoulder shrugging and high arm carriage

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