Why Do Sprinters Have Muscular Arms?

Would like to know why all Olympic sprinters have muscular arms. They probably have muscular arms to help them sprint, but the reason is unclear. These are the two paradoxes you cannot fathom!

Heavy arms increases the force the legs have to supply to move the body. So it seems big arms will slow down a sprinter.

The legs are stressed far more than the arms when sprinting, so it is common sense that legs would grow from training. However, the arms only swing against the air, so how are they stressed enough to grow?


The main role of the arms in sprinting is to stabilize the torso and provide drive forward, especially in the start (Which is critical in 100/200m races).

This stabilization allows power to be transferred through the center of mass in an efficient fashion. Since you’ve got to be able to oppose a significant driving force from the hips and legs, you need the strength in the arms to do so, as well as in the abdomen, lats, etc.

There is this write-up, Sprinting Mechanics that also suggests that the arm swing doesn’t necessarily contribute to horizontal motion, but contributes to the vertical drive component. It also cites a couple of studies that confirm the role of the arms in stabilization (Heinrich’s et al., 1987; Mann & Hermann, 1985).



First, increase your anaerobic range to be higher by doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. Basically, do short hard bursts for of activity (like sprinting) for a few minutes followed by recovery periods to allow your body to recover from the anaerobic stress. The rule is, the harder you push, the harder you will be able to push.

Second, here’s where distinguishing between marathon runners and sprinters will start to make sense. HIIT training (including sprinting) uses your whole body. Make no mistake, high impact, high intensity exercises work your core and upper body as well as your lower body. Unlike endurance running, it’s actually beneficial to focus on all muscle groups as long as you’re not just putting on unnecessary bulk.

Third, Type II muscle burns lots of energy and I mean a lot. Not only do sprinters have a lot of Type II mass from head to toe, they also have highly optimized circulatory systems. The high energy burns and increased blood flow lead to a very low body fat percentage giving a very defined ?cut? look.

In conclusion, Type II muscle mass and upper body strength is bad for an endurance runner because it adds weight and unnecessarily consumes more energy. But, for a sprinter Type II upper body mass is generally a result of working out and also a good counter to balance the force being exerted by the lower body.



Sprinters use of their powerful arm drives to help propel them out of the blocks and start in the desired low posture. As they reach full speed, their arms and legs work in concert to sustain the proper rhythm. A powerful arm drive can help sprinters maintain their proper stride as fatigue sets in. Lactic acid builds in the arms as it does in the legs, which is why sprinters must condition their arms for racing.


Before each workout, start with two-minute warm-up to get your muscles ready to go.

  • Jog for 5 to 10 minutes or Jump rope 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Then, stand and circle your arms backwards, one after the other, as if you?re pretending to do the backstroke for 30 seconds.
  • Finally, perform a front lunge, side lunge and back lunge stepping with the same leg, then switch to the other leg and repeat. Continue one minute. Now, get ready to HIIT it!


High-intensity interval training can be described as an exercise session composed entirely of HIIT techniques, or as a component of an exercise plan. HIIT exercise sessions generally consist of a warm up period, then several repetitions of high intensity exercise separated by medium intensity exercise for recovery, then a cool down period. The high intensity exercise should be done at near maximum intensity.

The medium exercise should be about 50% intensity. The number of repetitions and length of each depends on the exercise, but may be as little as three repetitions with just 20 seconds of intense exercise. The specific exercises performed during the high-intensity portions vary.

There is no specific formula to HIIT. Depending on one?s level of cardiovascular development, the moderate-level intensity can be as slow as walking. A common formula involves a 2:1 ratio of work to recovery periods, for example, 30?40 seconds of hard sprinting alternated with 15?20 seconds of jogging or walking.

The entire HIIT session may last between four and thirty minutes, meaning that it is considered to be an excellent way to maximize a workout that is limited on time. Use of a clock or timer is recommended to keep accurate times, number of rounds and intensity.







X3 Sets


Choose 3 exercises from the Upper Body and Lower Body, 2 exercises from the Core and 7 exercises from Cardio. Mix and match exercises so that a cardio exercise follows a strength exercise. Do each exercise for 1 minute before moving to the next move. Repeat routine up to 3 times for a complete body HIIT workout.

Upper Body Lower Body Core Cardio
  1. Push Ups
  2. Bicep Curls
  3. Tricep Dips
  4. Upright Standing Rows
  5. Kettlebell Renegades
  6. Kettlebell Sumo High Pulls
  7. Lateral Raises
  8. Shoulder Press
  9. Overhead Tricep Extensions
  10. Reverse Fly
  1. Plie Squats to Calf Raise
  2. Goblet Squats
  3. Reverse Lunges
  4. Walking Lunges
  5. Kettlebell Swings
  6. Deadlift
  7. Pulsing Squats
  8. Side Lying Leg Raises
  9. Donkey Kicks
  10. Curtsy Lunge to Side Leg Lift
  1. Plank
  2. Side Plank
  3. Reverse Crunch
  4. Russian Twists
  5. V-ups
  6. Bicycle Crunches
  7. Supermans
  8. Spidermans
  9. Frog Crunches
  10. Downward Dog Leg Pull
  1. Burpees
  2. Mountain Climbers
  3. Jumping Jacks
  4. High Knees
  5. Speed Skters
  6. Trunk Jumps
  7. Sprint
  8. Heismans
  9. Diamond Jumps
  10. High Knee Jog

If you follow the above HIIT workouts they will help you to get strong biceps.

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    Why Do Sprinters Have Muscular Arms?

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    Why Do Sprinters Have Muscular Arms?

    Would like to know why all Olympic sprinters have muscular arms. They probably have muscular arms to help them sprint, but ...
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