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Bang the Drums

A form exercise that promotes awareness and control of the arms while teaching the fundamentals of arm swing

Tags: middle 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. You can also have kids run a short distance while practicing the technique.

Performance Points:

  • Relax the shoulders so the hands pass the body at the hips.
  • Maintain a full, strong but relaxed arm swing.
  • Avoid swinging the arms sideways or twisting the torso.
  • Keep the elbows bent.
  • Swing the arms from the shoulders, not the elbows.
  • 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 needed


  • Promotes awareness and control of the arms and teaches the fundamentals of efficient arm swing, for increased stability and efficiency
  • 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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Youth and Schools

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