One of the most popular mistakes sprinters make is not lifting their legs high enough. Bringing your hip into 90 degree flexion (lifting your leg so that’s it parallel to the ground) will allow you to step further and of course to take less steps!
Sprinting involves “Front” and “Back” Side mechanics. If you think of your lateral line as the seam of your pants on the outside of your hips, the anterior line (Front side mechanics) is in front of that line and the posterior line (Back side mechanics) is behind it.
Ideal form for short sprints (100-200 meters) involves the hips flexing to 90 degrees, so that the thighs are parallel to the ground and the shins are perpendicular to the thighs.
Imagine tracing a triangle with every step; your flexed hip is the top of the triangle.
When in this position, dorsiflex your ankle by pulling your toes up (try not to point your foot down). As soon as you make contact with the ground (bottom front of the triangle), push quickly off that foot. These two actions make up your front side mechanics. Now, as your moving forward, that same foot has moved into your backside mechanics. Draw the last portion of the triangle by pulling your heel in alignment with your knee and calf of the other leg.
If your hips and calves feel it, you’re doing it right. Watch the video to see the triangle!