No - actually a relaxed hand is in a loose fist. It requires more effort to push the fingers out flat. It may seem to be more aerodynamic but there is absolutely no evidence that it helps, so I vote the most relaxed state.
Actually having an open hand increases the length of the moment arm thereby increasing torque and thus force. Tom Tellez stated that is was for better aerodynamics but ultimatley the open hand produces more torque. Jim Hines had a relazed hand and actually "slapped" down and across the midline as he generated his back swing.
I've tried both, and even with clenched fists, but notice no difference in my times. (but then, I'm 57 and can't break :16 to save my life). But seriously.. in elite sprinting, hand 'posture' might mean more than a coupla 100ths, no? The difference between gold and 4th, maybe?!(like in Paris final this year) What a sport!
What physiology text is any of this from? Face it: the science of running is paltry. Someone can say that pressure (or clenching) of the hands helps remove tension from the rest of the body; you try it, it seems to be true -- so it becomes a recommendation. This originally comes from Cerrutty, I believe --
True, but why would the principle be different between middle-distance running (which requires sprinting) and the pure sprints? A matter of degree. And do any sprinters NOT exert pressure in their hands (clench; hold their hands straightened, which requires considerable effort)?
I don't know about the science. It is more natural for me to run fast with my palms held open. It might feel less so for others. I feel I get more "drive" that way. It might be a psychological thing more than anything else
This is partly true. Cerutty promoted running with the forefinger 'pinched' onto the thumb, this was to reduce tension while running. He did not though suggest that your hands remain in this position throughout the running stride. Instead he promoted running so that as the arms are thrown forward in the running motion the hands open out almost as if to grasp something ahead. As the arms then begin their backwards motion the fingers come together to the point that the finger and thumb are again pinched together. Regimented, stiff, tense running styles are not natural and inhibit a free flowing movement. This along with other points can indeed be used by all runners, sprinters included. In fact, Cerutty devoted some part of a number of his books to how his theories could benefit sprinters.
I preface by saying Cerutty was my first coach or influence (from afar, reading his 1959 pamphlet), and I understood the pinching as a release of pressure elsewhere (allowing other parts of the body to relax), but had a harder time envisioning the throwaway-pickup movement. Thanks for the helpful description. But if I'm not mistaken, Cerutty began preaching a galloping motion, and odd arm movements, and breathing techniques, that seemed odd to me to say the least -- basically, I couldn't even understand what it all would look like. Larry Myers book (proclaiming himself the heir to Cerutty's teachings) confused things even further. You seem to be familiar with at least these arm movements -- can you shed any light on whether Cerutty was off the deep end or on to something?
>I've tried both, and even with clenched fists,
>but notice no difference in my times. (but then,
>I'm 57 and can't break :16 to save my life). But
>seriously.. in elite sprinting, hand 'posture'
>might mean more than a coupla 100ths, no? The
>difference between gold and 4th, maybe?!(like in
>Paris final this year) What a sport!
Changing hand configuration will have absolutely no impact on the aerodynamics of the sprint. You're not altering the physical structure enough (i.e. area) to make a difference. Ultimately it's just another aesthetic issue -- kind of like the way people now hold guns sideways in the movies, because it looks cool!
If it was in any way significant, you'd see everyone doing it.
>> Ultimately it's just another
>aesthetic issue -- kind of like the way people
>now hold guns sideways in the movies, because it
Perhaps somebody who's big into handguns can clarify this. I was told that it's done that way only with automatics (as opposed to revolvers) to help avoid getting whacked in the face by ejected cartridges.
Cerutty says that 'fundamentally there is no difference in the basic movements of a sprinter or a marathon man.' The main difference is the speed and vigor of the movement.
This is really the same as swimming, here coaches do not have a totally different technique, it is mainly in the speed of the movement. If a swimmer loses technique at speed they lose! For those who have tried to use Cerutty's ideas, and found it didn't work, perhaps you weren't really doing what you thought you were. Try the basic arm and hand movements in front of a mirror (as suggested by Cerutty) Ballet dancers do this to perfect movement, why not runners! After much practice and correction, the movements become like a pianist who has played a piece so many times that their fingers seem to move to the keys without a conscious thought.
It should be added that arm and hand movements alone a only a part of the whole picture, breathing, head position, variations in movements and strength conditioning all play a part in better running.