The 40-yard dash is a race covering 40 yards. This kind of sprint is primarily used to evaluate the speed of football players in the United States of America, especially for the NFL draft. Finishing the dash in record time can heavily impact the participant’s prospects in professional football. Body placement is the key when it comes to running the sprint in record time. Continue reading to know the accurate body position.
Foot placement is extremely important when it come to running the 40-yard dash. Proper foot placement ensures you go off to a quick start, which in turn sets up your entire run. First of all determine which one is your “quick” leg and which one is the “power” leg. When starting a three-point stance, position yourself in such a way that your quick leg is in the back and the power leg is in front of you. The distance between the two feet also matters a lot. Technically the distance between your power foot and quick foot should be shin length (approximately 40 to 45 percent of your total leg length). On the other hand, the distance between your front foot and starting line should be about 57 to 60 percent of total leg length.
Shoulder Position at the Start
Your shoulder position at the start also contributes to a good take off. Position your hands on the ground so that your thumbs are directly under your shoulders, and the shoulders should be directly above or a little behind the hands. This will help maximize the distance between your shoulders and the ground. Also make sure your quick leg knee is touching the ground.
Leg Angles (Starting Position / Three-Point Stance)
Your front knee should be flexed at an angle between 90 and 110 degrees, while the rear leg should be extended at an angle between 120 and 135 degrees. Keeping your legs in this range depends primarily on an athlete’s existing strength level.
Different coaches suggest different head alignments in the three-point stance; some believe that you should keep your head down and look back at the front leg, while others want you to have your head up and look forward. But the best head position is having your head straight, aligned with your backbone.
Position your body in such a way that your hips are above the shoulders. However, make sure that your hips are not too high, because this will shift more weight to the hands and you won’t be able to support all the weight. Consequently, your first step from the starting line will fall short.
Place your hands on the ground, shoulder-width apart, in such a way that only your fingertips are touching the ground. This will ensure that you do not put too much weight on your hands. Also, your hands should run parallel with the starting line.