Why do sprinters have big arms? (What science says)

Sprinters have a body that is different from that of marathon runners. While marathon runners are skinny, sprinters have muscular bodies. It is especially seen that the arms of sprinters are muscular. Can you make out a reason for these muscular arms?

A sprinter’s arms are impressively built, and by impressive arms, we are pointing towards the horseshoe triceps and immensely bulging biceps. Sprinting requires immense speed and power, and most of this power is generated from the lower part of the body. Despite that, it is the upper part of the body that displays the most strength.

This article will give you an insight into what causes the arms of sprinters to bulge out. Read on to know more about it.

Why do sprinters have big arms?

Why do sprinters have big arms
Image: Celso Pupo / bigstockphoto.com

If you are under the impression that sprinting only requires strength in the lower body, you need to restructure your idea. Big arms of sprinters have a huge role to play in generating momentum while sprinting. It is evident that the stroke of the arm can decide the stride of running.

Sprinters also indulge in intense resistance training. All these training sessions are filled with explosive movements that involve both the lower and the upper body. Not only this, but sprinters also tend to have high levels of testosterone and a low percentage of body fat.

Sprinting involves the fast-twitch muscle fibers. All these factors contribute to the development of a muscular physique.

If you are still wondering why sprinters have muscular arms, stated below are a few factors that you might answer your query.

Arms are significantly involved when you sprint

If you are unsure about how arms contribute to sprinting, here is some relevant piece of information for you. When you run, you sway your arms. As you gain momentum, your arms sway more rigorously.

Although your arms are not directly involved when you sprint, they cannot be done without. When sprinters train formally, they practice pumping their arms as well

Arms help to dictate the range of the motions as well as the speed of running while sprinting. Not only this, but when a sprinter’s speed reaches its zenith, the arms play an important role in balancing the body by countering the rotation that the pelvis initiates. Speedily pumping the arms serves as a catalyst for the legs and allows a sprinter to perform better!

Strength training in the gym might contribute to the development of arm muscles

A sprinters’ training is not just confined to the field. They also spend a considerable amount of time and effort in strength training at the gym. This is quite evident in the kind of muscular physique that they possess.

The strength training mainly involves some intense barbell power moves. Sprinters may perform exercises like medicine ball throws, clean pulls, deadlifts, hamstring curls, military press, lunges barbell rows, bench press, etc.

Although all the exercises may not be targeted at the arms, regularity, and adequacy of weight, if incorporated, may result in excellent arm structure, i.e., bigger arms. Since sprinters are already aware of the importance of arms in acquiring immense speed, they also tend to indulge in training that is arm-specific.

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The genetics of the sprinter may be important to consider

Believe it or not, genetics serve as a major deciding factor when it comes to acquiring a certain kind of body stature. Some sprinters are muscular simply because they are born with the kind of genes that contribute to an athletic body build.

Although training will help you get your desired body type, being blessed with the right kind of gene will definitely make it easier. Sprinters have a disposition for high levels of testosterone; hence they are more likely to appear muscular. 

The low body fat of sprinters is an advantage

Have you ever seen a bulky sprinter? Probably not. Sprinters have very low levels of fat in their bodies, which causes their bodies to look chiseled, muscular, and defined. Their arms, too, reap the benefits of this feature. To say, the lower the percentage of body fat, the more muscular the person will appear.

However, you will have to put in continuous efforts to maintain a low body fat percentage. Such efforts include intensifying workouts, adhering to a healthy diet, limiting the consumption of carbs, and so on.

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The biceps, also called biceps brachii, serve two main purposes. The first purpose is to bend the elbow, which is termed elbow flexion, and the second is known as forearm supination.

Forearm supination is the procedure in which the forearm is rotated in such a way that the palms face in the forward direction. This kind of arm movement helps in utilizing the arm for generating momentum and pushing the body forward. It also helps to retain body balance.

Due to the massive role that upper arms play in sprinting, sprinters spend a great deal of time training their arms. Sprinters, therefore, indulge in exercises that focus on the biceps and other arm muscles, thereby causing the arms to grow voluptuous and impart immense strength to them.