Run Drills Exercise Library
Drive your knee up forcefully lifting you off the ground. Keep movements primarily in the sagittal plane. Keep your foot dorsiflexed, which means your toes drawn up towards your shin. Transition from one foot to the other, just like running. Focus on breaking the vertical plane with your thigh each time.
Similar to the high skip drill, the distance skip works the loading phase of the run. The key to performing the drill correctly is to focus on driving the foot down and letting it spring back up and forward off the ground. Use the same arm motion during this drill as you use while running.
Double Leg Hop
The Double Leg Hop is the poor man’s Depth Jump. If you don’t have a plyo box or prop swap (for jumping off), you can make do with your own two legs. Instead of dropping from a plyo box, you’ll use a counter movement jump to leap to a similar “starting” height. When you land your jump, your legs undergo a strong stretch-shortening cycle and store elastic energy, leading to a powerful rebound jump. You’ll train your nervous system for an explosive elastic recoil action.
School Yard Skip
The school yard skip is a great routine to practice as a lead up to the other run drills. Drive your knee up forcefully lifting you off the ground. Keep movements primarily in the sagittal plane. Keep your foot dorsiflexed, which means your toes drawn up towards your shin. This is a small skip since you land on the same foot and then switch.
The butt kick drill further conditions and coordinates the glutes and hamstrings for a strong running stride. The butt kick drill should almost feel like a variation of running with high knees (rather than simply kicking backwards). Pull your heels up directly beneath you, keeping the knee, heel and toe up throughout the drill. Use the same arm motion during this drill as you use while running.
Bounding is a higher intensity running drill designed to improve power and efficiency. Essentially bounding is just an exaggerated run with lots of vertical and horizontal displacement. Go for both height and distance with each stride. To keep from skipping, try jogging 5-10 meters before starting the drill. These can be performed on flat ground or uphill.
Like the side-to-side skips, the carioca drill further works the stabilizing muscles that play a secondary but nevertheless vital role in running. As you move sideways, cross one leg over the other in front and then behind. Hold your arms out to the side to begin; as you start to get the hang of the drill, use your arms as you would while running.
Running takes place almost exclusively in the sagittal plane (flexion/extension) to propel the runner forward, yet muscles that operate in the frontal plane (abduction/adduction) play an important role as stabilizers. For the side shuffle, skip side to side by bringing your feet together and then shoulder width apart. Let your arms cross over each other in front of the body as you skip.