4 Power Drills to Improve Running Performance

Hurdles

Hurdles increase flexibility in the hip flexors and hamstrings.

  • Find a set of 6 to 8 hurdles or low chairs (the top of the chair should be even with or slightly below the height of your hip).
  • Step over the hurdle with your lead leg.
  • Lift your trail leg over to bring your feet together.

After you walk through the hurdles leading with one leg, return to the start and repeat the drill starting with the opposite leg.

Do two sets on each leg.

Key tip for hurdles:

  • As you pull the trail leg over, focus on using the knee to serve as a pointer, pulling the leg over in one steady motion.

More: Hip Strengthening and Mobility Exercises for Runner

Driving Skips

Skipping improves biomechanics, power and heel-to-toe transitions.

  • Begin by skipping easily, the way you did as a child, for 20 to 25 meters.
  • Drive through the toe to explode higher into the air.
  • Swing your arms upward to help build momentum.

Skip 50 meters, and repeat the drill twice.

Key tips for driving skips:

  • Exaggerate the arm swing to give you more power as you drive.
  • Face forward to center your hips and keep your posture in line.

More: 6 Power-Training Exercises for Runners

Step-Ups

This drill increases flexibility and strengthens the glutes and hamstrings.

  • Find a stable chair or platform.
  • Stand with one foot flat on the platform in front of you and your other leg on the floor. The knee of your lead leg should be at a 90-degree angle when your foot is on the platform.
  • Push through your elevated leg, and pull your body and opposite leg onto the platform.
  • Step down and return to the starting position.
  • Switch legs and repeat the exercise.

Do 8 to 10 reps on each leg.

Key tip for step-ups:

  • After you step down from the box, make sure both legs are on the ground. Reset your feet and check your position before your repeat the move.

More: 3 Lower-Body Exercises for Runners

Active logo Sign up for your next race.
PREV
  • 2
  • of
  • 2

About the Author

Pete Rea

ZAP Fitness is a Reebok sponsored nonprofit facility that supports post-collegiate distance runners in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. ZAP puts on adult running camps during the summer, and is available for retreats all year. The facility has a state-of-the-art weight room, a bio-lab for physiological testing and a 24-bed lodge. Coaches at the facility include two-time Olympic trials qualifier Zika Rea, Ryan Warrenburg and head coach Pete Rea. Visit zapfitness.com, check out ZAP's Facebook page for more info, or call 828-295-6198.
ZAP Fitness is a Reebok sponsored nonprofit facility that supports post-collegiate distance runners in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. ZAP puts on adult running camps during the summer, and is available for retreats all year. The facility has a state-of-the-art weight room, a bio-lab for physiological testing and a 24-bed lodge. Coaches at the facility include two-time Olympic trials qualifier Zika Rea, Ryan Warrenburg and head coach Pete Rea. Visit zapfitness.com, check out ZAP's Facebook page for more info, or call 828-295-6198.

Discuss This Article