Introduction: Track and Field: Basic Hurdling Technique
These instructions will help the aspiring hurdler to understand the mechanics of hurdling and how to implement them in practice.
It is necessary to learn proper hurdling technique at the start of your career. Hurdling and running are actions that require the development of muscle memory, and developing the wrong memories will hinder your progress and potential. The purpose of these pictures and videos, is to help you start hurdling with the right technique and reach your full potential.
These drills should be done as part of practice for about 10 minutes a day. Consistency will be key.
Before practicing the hurdle drills, warm-up so that you are sweating, joints are mobile, and muscles are loose. Hurdling without a proper warm-up can cause hip problems.
I'm positive, that after a few weeks of consistent practice, you will start to see significant improvement in your hurdling ability.
You can do it!
Step 1: Stationary Trail Leg Drill
Place the hurdle about 3 feet away from the wall.
Position yourself as seen in the picture.
- Arms extended touching the wall
- Slight lean
- Outside foot just in front of hurdle
- Trail leg extended behind you (In the picture the trail leg is the right leg.)
Step 2: Stationary Trail Leg Drill (Toe to Ear)
Before moving your leg in the hurdle motion, keep your leg straight and externally rotate your foot.
- Notice how her foot is pointing to the side.
- We call this position of the foot "Toe to Ear", because it feels like you are pulling your toe towards your ear.
Step 3: Stationary Trail Leg Drill (Heel to Butt)
While keeping your foot in "Toe to Ear" position, Bring your heel straight to your butt. Your knee should also move upward right above the hurdle, and out to the side.
- Your toe and knee will both be pointing away from you to the side.
- You should feel your internal hip rotator muscles all working very hard at this moment.
Step 4: Stationary Trail Leg Drill (Knee to Nose)
While keeping your toe pointed to your ear and heel pulled tight to butt, bring your knee to your nose.
- This will put you in correct sprinting position once over the hurdle.
Step 5: Stationary Trail Leg Drill (Straight Down)
Once in the knee to nose position, drive your foot straight down.
- Notice how her foot is not hanging, but her toe is pulled toward her shin. This provides maximum power when driving straight down.
- The position of your toe pulled up toward your shin is referred to as "Dorsey Flexion".
The process of rotating your trail leg around the hurdle should become smooth. At this point, try to increase the speed of bringing your trail leg over the hurdle.
- If you are hitting the hurdle often, slow it down so you can do so without hitting the hurdle.
- Do 10 with each trail leg.
Step 6: Marching Lead Leg Drill
Approach the hurdle at a slow march. At about 1 foot away, Bring your knee straight up and so that your heel is above the hurdle.
The purpose of this drill is to practice attacking the hurdle with good knee drive.
- You will approach the outside of the hurdle, and step over it with the leg closest to the side of the hurdle. (In the picture, this would be her right leg.)
- Maintain good dorsey flexion with your foot.
- As you bring your knee up, you will need to have a slight lean to keep your momentum going forward.
Step 7: Marching Lead Leg Drill
Once over the hurdle, drive your lead leg straight down.
- Do 10 with each lead leg.
- You should feel the need to decelerate yourself with your hands, before you hit the wall.
Step 8: Hurdle Step Through
This video shows the combination of the two drills outlined in the previous steps.
- Do this 5 times with each leg. 10 total.
- Notice how her posture stays tall through the whole drill.
- Notice how her torso doesn't rotate to the side, but stays facing forward.
- Place your hands on the sides of the hurdle to maintain balance and keep shoulders facing forward.
- Maintaining a tight core will also help you keep your balance and bring your legs smoothly over the hurdle.
Step 9: Important Points
- Muscle Memory comes from consistent practice
- Always maintain good posture
- Dorsey Flexion creates the most power.
- Heel to butt is the most efficient way to hurdle and run.
- Attack the hurdle by leading with the knee.
- Practice on low hurdle heights. 30-33 inches high.
- Think "You are fast!" Believe "You are fast!"
- Never Give Up