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Arm Intervals

A strength training exercise that increases the strength and endurance of muscles in the chest, arms, shoulders, and core

Tags: high school, stretches & strength, strength training



There are four phases of the exercise :

  1. Start with a hard run.
  2. Drop and do push-ups, or modified push-ups.
  3. Run hard again for the same distance.
  4. Do a recovery jog, and then repeat the cycle.

Performance Points:

  • Maintain good push-up form (see the Push-up segment for details.)
  • Switch to modified push-ups to preserve form when fatigued.
  • Maintain good running form including arm drive, especially when the arms start to fatigue (see Form 101 for details.)
  • The run hard portions should be done at about 80% effort (fast, but not a full sprint).

Training Specifics:

Duration / Reps:

  • Beginners: 3-4 reps of 200 meters fast, 5 push-ups, 200 meters fast, and a 200 meter jog
  • Experienced Athletes: 3-4 reps of 400 meters fast, 10 push-ups, 400 meters fast, and a 400 meter jog


  • Do Arm Intervals as the main workout of the day early in the training season.
  • Replace them with more race-specific training as the season progresses.


  • Strengthens muscles in the chest, arms, shoulders, and core which will improve arm drive, upper body posture, and stability, leading to more powerful and efficient running
  • Increases endurance in these same muscles, which delays upper body and arm fatigue
  • The activity also adds variety to practices so athletes are challenged and engaged.

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