Acceleration: Hip Projection

Athletes, Coaches -

Acceleration: Hip Projection

Easily one of the most difficult movements to create is “hip projection” during the first step. BUT when it happens, it’s a beautiful thing - powerful and fluid

Hip projection is when the hips move forward. Take a look below at what I'm talking about. 

FORWARD! I stress forward because that's the direction we want to go. Right?? Well, far too often athletes stand up and then go forward or they step back first. Most of this is due to the starting position and the body needing to create better angles in order to actually run.

It is not an easy task. It takes a lot of practice and the right drills in order to get this movement down. 

The key is all in the “push” and then keep pushing… This action needs to be repeated for the first steps in order to project forward. It cannot be rushed. You actually spend the most time on the ground with your foot during the acceleration phase of sprinting. 

You can't rush these steps.

If you do, you will most definitely lose your angles and stop gaining as much distance.

Check out this video to get a great visual of projection. Watch the hips!

Alright so how do we make this happen?


The theme with all three of the videos below is the hips moving forward. The athlete pushed with their legs which creates the ideal body position.

Sled Mountain Climber:

Band Resisted Wall Mountain Climber:

Band Resisted HK Sprint Start:


Everyone always wants the magic sauce. The sauce is the focus and effort.

Focus on the details. Take it slow and film your reps to see where you are going wrong.

Effort is a must. These drills need to be executed multiple times a week. No half reps.

A few cues I coach:

Push down and back

Roll the carpet

Hips start the race

Hips to the finish line

Each athlete may respond to each cue differently. Choose your words wisely and always lean towards more external cues rather than internal. 

At the end of the day the best way for kids to get faster is to just sprint fast. Make sure these drills and cues are not too isolated. Allow the athlete to not think too much. Sometimes they just need to go…

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