Drills for Runners

I always perform drills after my warm-up before starting a running workout.  Its a practice that has been instilled in me since my early running days of high school cross country.  Performing drills warms up the body and helps to activate muscles before a run.  In addition to strengthening muscles and joints, performing drills also improves coordination, agility, and balance.  All you need is approximately 50 meters of space on a flat and even surface such as a track, grassy patch, or stretch of road/sidewalk.

Perform 3 of these on your training days, after you warm up and stretch.

Lets get started!

  1. High knees: works the hamstrings, improves cadence, and encourages mid-foot landing. Perform these by staying light on your toes, keeping your core tight, and driving your knees up.
  2. Butt kicks: Jog lightly while kicking your feet all the way up so that your heels touch your bottom. Butt kicks work the quads, hip flexors, and improves cadence.
  3. Skips: Lift up your knees and skip as high as you can to really work your calves. Pump your arms and avoid looking down at the ground. This drill will help improve your balance and the strength of your strides.
  4. Frankenstein: Also known as hamstring extensions. Extend one leg forward and reach your arms toward your foot, repeat on the other leg. If you still all day long at desk, this is a great drill for you but be careful not to extend so far that you pull your hamstring. Our hamstrings shorten and tighten from sitting in a chair for hours on end.
  5. Lunges: Core and balance are all working together during lunges. One of the most important drills for improving your glute strength.
  6. Backwards run: Work your glutes, core, hamstrings, and calves all by simply jogging backwards.
  7. Stride: Also known as acceleration. Over the course of 30 seconds, progress from a jog to a fast pace (not quite all our sprint) by lengthening your stride and then slow to a gradual stop.
  8. Bunny hop: Push off with power and bounce forward with both legs.
  9. Heel walk: Stengthen your lower leg muscle by lifting both feet so that you are walking on only your heels. You’ll feel this in your shins.

Comment below if you have any questions about how to perform any of these or feel free to share what your favorite drill is!

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