Building a Hurdling Program“If you can’t do it slow, you will never do it fast, correctly” • Lead leg drills • Trail leg drills • Combination Drills • Drills to develop hurdling rhythm • Starting Block basics • Workouts for hurdlers • Side notes for hurdling
Drills to develop Hurdlers • Becoming a hurdler involves having an understanding of the mechanics of hurdling and then doing drills to help develop those mechanics. Time must be dedicated to doing these drills 2 – 3 times a week minimum. Once a weakness is exposed, have the athlete spend extra time on the drill that will strengthen that weakness.
Lead Leg Drills“Must lead with the knee”Karate KicksPower SkipsLead leg box drillSide way power skip over hurdlesLead leg walk through over hurdles
Karate Kicks Athlete will drive lead knee to parallel making sure toe and heel of that leg are under the thigh, foot flexed. They will then extend the foot making the leg parallel to ground. Athlete may want to use a wall or fence to help with balance when first learning the drill, but wants to eventually be able to do it freestanding.
Power Skips The standard old power skip drill, but athlete works to drive knee only to parallel making sure lead foot is flexed and under thigh of lead leg and not in front. Main focus is to not let foot swing in front of that knee. A quicker version of the explosive power skip.
Lead leg box drill This drill teaches the hurdler to lead with the knee. If the toe of the lead leg hits the box, then the hurdler is swinging the lead leg off the ground.
Side way Power Skip over hurdle Athlete will do power skips down a set of hurdles alternating driving the knee of the lead leg over the block of the hurdle. Must stress that they keep the knee high and the sole of the lead foot should go over the block.
Lead leg walk through over hurdles This drill involves having the athlete walk through hurdles driving the lead knee over the block on each consecutive hurdle. It is good for beginners to use lower height hurdles.
Trail Leg Drills“Toe of trail foot must point out”Hip mobility drillsTrail leg slidesTrail leg pull throughTrail leg walk through over hurdles
Hip mobility drills Donkey Kicks – from a 4 point position, athlete extends leg back and up driving heel to the sky.
Hip mobility drills cont. Fire Hydrants – from a 4 point position, athlete extends lower portion of leg away from the body until it is parallel to ground.
Hip mobility drills cont. Slides – from a 4 point position, athlete reaches with heel to a point horizontal to their back and then back to the starting position.
Hip mobility drills cont. Combo fire hydrant/slides – from same starting position, athlete performs a fire hydrant and from that position, performs a slide.
Hip mobility drills cont. Trail leg rotations: forward and reverse – from same starting position, athlete performs trail leg rotations in a forward and reverse motion.
Trail leg slides Athlete starts trail leg movement placing trail foot on the block of a hurdle and pulls it along and off the block in front of the body to a run position.
Trail leg pull through Using the top of the fence, athlete will perform a trail leg action using the fence to pull the trail leg over the block making sure trail foot stays flexed and lands against fence in sprint position.
Trail leg walk through over hurdles Athlete walks over hurdles alternating legs performing trail leg action. Lower hurdles are once again good for beginning hurdlers.
Combination Drills“Working them together”Over and UndersLead leg/Trail leg walk throughIn’s and Out’s
Over and Under Athlete leads over hurdle block and then trails under next hurdle. Drill also helps with flexibility.
Lead leg/Trail leg walk through Athlete will lead over block of one hurdle and then trail over block of next hurdle. Short hurdles help when first starting drill.
In’s and Out’s Performing either a trail leg of lead leg action, athlete will move in and out of 6 hurdles, 3 set one direction and 3 set the other. This drill allows a group of hurdlers to work on the same drill together allowing you to observe many athletes at once.
Drills to develop hurdling rhythm “Learning hurdle rhythm through these drills carries over into the actual racing”1. Walking while counting drill – athlete will walk and count mimicking hurdling action on proper steps1,2, hurdle, land - 1,2,hurdle, land and so onor 1,2,3,hurdle, land – 1,2,3,hurdle, land and so on for 4 steppers2. Do 1 step hurdles taking only 1 step between hurdlesin time expand that to 2 steps and 3 steps, will have to adjust hurdle distance because athlete will not and should not be running full speed, not the purpose of the drill3. Short hurdle run through – going over small hurdles, it is the walking drill done over hurdles at a slower speed
Starting Block Basics“ Teach ‘em young to use blocks”1. Always crawl into the blocks2. Lead leg should be back in the blocks because we want to ideally take 8 steps to the first hurdle. 3. After ‘loading into the blocks’ move trunk and arms(which should be slightly angled away from each other) forward until the arms form a 90 degree angle with the ground, head hanging looking down. 4. On the ‘set’ command, lift buttocks into air until the back leg is at an angle of about 135 degrees. Head should still be hanging.5. On the start, first 4 steps should be like a sprinter, but beginning with the 5th stride continuing with the 6th and 7th, hurdler needs to begin to get upright to prepare for the hurdling action.
Workout SamplesAll hurdlers do a running workout. On days that I want them to hurdle, they go to warm up drills for hurdles right after team stretch. Workouts will be posted as such:110/100: 5 x 1, 3 x 3, 2 x 5, 1 x 7(Note: we will rarely if ever at all go over more than 7 flights in a workout)300: 3 x 3, 2 x next 3, 2 x last 2or6 x 400’s over hurdles( will use 400 hurdle markings0A workout I use to help teach them to sprint through the hurdles is we will set up the even number flights and do 6 intervals times those 5 flights. You have to adjust the distance between them a little, but they really get to accelerate more with the longer distance. I have my 4 steppers alternate which leg they lead with per interval.
Side Notes to help the program1. If your track does not have it, set up marks to run both ways. I always try to train with the wind at our backs. I realize that we may compete at a track meet that does not have that capability, but the adrenaline of the meet will help us.2. I put hurdle marks on both straight aways of the track. That way high school kids can work on one side and junior high on the other. Time is valuable, do not want a lot of hurdle height changing which increases down time.3. Set up the track with 400 meter hurdle marks. Can use these marks to set up hurdles so that 300 hurdlers can go over hurdles with longer interval workouts. 4. Start ‘em young. I introduce hurdles to summer track kids as young as 4 years of age. Use 6 – 10 inch home made hurdles.