Running Drills are a key component of any warm up in my Running Training Programs. The benefits of running drills include:
- Increased blood flow delivering oxygen and fuel to working muscles
- Enhancing you mentally for the work that is to come
- Warming muscle tissue reducing injury risk
- Increasing range of movement
- Firing key muscles needed for running so they are ready to work
- Encouraging a more efficient running technique
- Increase the strength of key muscles specific to running
Incorporating running drills as part of your warm up in your ‘quality’ sessions allows you to get better value from your session and faster adaptations or improvements in your running! The good news is that you don’t have to be an elite runner to use them, they are very easy to do. I typically start with 3 dynamic stretches and then move into the drills. Usually I’ll prescribe between 4-8 drills, with 2 sets each, depending on your level of fitness, running history and the areas of your running technique we may be may be working to enhance (such as developing a more forward lean or promoting greater triple extension in your stride to produce more power). Drills will assist to strengthen key muscles and movements specific to running. Below are some demonstration videos on drills and a short instructional description, have a go and let me know what you think! If you are interested to learn more about a personalised training program for yourself to hit your running / cardio goals, click here.
TRIPLE EXTENSION WALKING (2 sets, 15-20 secs OR 15-20m)
Place hands on hips, as you walk, drive one knee high as you come up tall on to your standing leg. As you bring your knee high you have ‘extension’ at all 3 key joints – your ankle, knee and hip.
BUTT KICKS (2 sets, 15-20 secs OR 15-20m)
Place your hands on your butt and alternate pulling your heels to touch your hands. This drill should be fast with short strides. Aim to keep up off your heels when you land.
HIGH KNEES (2 sets, 15-20 secs OR 15-20m)
Similar to Butt Kicks, this drill should be down fast with short strides. Aim to lift your knees towards hip height then drive the foot back down to create almost like a spring back feeling. Use the same arm motion as you use while running.
A SKIP (2 sets, 20 secs OR 30-50m)
Bring knee up and then in a “clawing” like motion bring leg down and scrape it through like you are wiping dog poo off your shoe – FAST! Keep core engaged, a slight forward lean and pelvis stable.
B SKIP (2 sets, 20 secs OR 30-50m)
Bring knee up and extend or “flick leg” while keeping pelvis still.
GRAPE VINE (OR CARIOCA) (2 sets each side, 15- 20 seconds OR 30 -50m)
The grapevine (or carioca) drill aims to activate and strengthen the stabilising muscles of the hip and leg, crucial for proper running technique. It also acts a a great warm up to increase range of motion at the hip prior to running. Starting with arms out to a T shape, move sideways, crossing one leg over the other in front and then behind. Make sure your repeat on the other side by leading with the opposite.
Now you’re ready to run!