Last Updated on September 26, 2015 by Jimson Lee
Valeri Borzov is the double gold medalist in the 100 meters and 200 meters at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. He also won a silver medal in the 4×100 meter relay.
In the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, he added 2 bronze medals in the 100 meters and 4×100 meter relay.
In my opinion, he has one of the greatest sprinting techniques, out of the blocks and running at top speed. You can download this guide by clicking here, or right-click and choose Save Target As.
Many thanks to Ken Grace from Chabot College for providing this information from my USATF Level 1 Track and Field Coaching certification.
1) Head, Neck, Shoulders in alignment, Front Leg positioned at around 90 degrees, back leg around 135 degrees. Both legs are loading against both blocks – note the heel.
2) Drive the hips and body out at 45 degree angle, Eyes and head down maintaining power line out of the blocks.
3) Full extension out of the blocks at 45 degrees. Opposite arm blocks at the head. Eyes and Head down to so hips can be fully extended. Like pushing a car down the track.
4) Toe pulled up as the foot steps over the heel. Eyes straight ahead keeping head in alignment. Opposite arm driven back through the pocket.
5) Knee Up Toe – Foot Moving Back prior to ground contact.
6) Note the angle of the knee and hip. These are important angles to consider when designing a strength and plyometric training routine.
7) Full Extension off the back leg – head in alignment with shoulders and hips to maintain the power (or pushing) phase at the start. Knee Up and Toe Up prior to ground contact.
Bush Mackel says
Very interesting blog. I used to run a lot more than I did now, and I used to sprint a lot more too. OHHHH to be young again. (#):)
Jimson Lee says
It’s never too late for a comeback! There is Masters Track for those over 35!
Bill Pontius says
My thanks for these photos and reminders of Borzov’s great form out of the blocks. The “set” position shows very clearly that his weight is farther forward than most novice sprinters. If his hands were lifted up, he would fall straight down–of course this doesn’t happen in a race because he pushes forward with his feet (very powerfully and rapidly) from the blocks. Many coaches still have their athlets distributing their weight evenly between arms and legs. Borzov’s form suggests this may not be the best.
And thanks for the upgrades to Caoch Dunton’s site! Much appreciated.
Jimson Lee says
@Bill – You are welcome. I, too, try to lean forward with my weight over my shoulders in the “on your marks” position. At “set”, I would fall on my face if it were not for my arms and hands holding me up.
Yes, Coach Dunton’s site was quite an overhaul. I hope it makes navigation easier, and the newsfeeds are great.
That is the same start that Asafa Powell is using.
The fourth picture is the give away. Along with the short arm movement.
But the ability to form the number four with your legs that early in a race is critical for getting max force returned to you be decreasing your ground contact time.