These drills make a great warm-up routine to boost your running performance
Proper running drills should be a part of every runner’s training routine, with the ideal time to do them being after your warm-up and before your main running workout. Not only will effective drills help to improve your form, efficiency, and speed, they will also aid in injury prevention and improve your coordination and agility. The experts at 361° Europe have put together 3 drills for you to try before your next run.
This classic and commonly-seen drill is prolific for a reason. The high knees running drill will engage your core and improve momentum and flexibility, as well as encouraging better running form and warming you up properly before your run. This is a great drill to do before any run as it will get your heart rate up in preparation for your workout and will get your muscles firing in anticipation. When done regularly, the stride exaggeration and promotion of lifting the knees could also help to make you a faster runner.
How to: You can practise high knees either statically (in one place) or dynamically (moving forwards). Lift your knees as high as you can while landing lightly and quickly on your toes. This will engage your calves and promote a lighter stride. Keep your core tight and pump your arms hard for balance and acceleration. Keep your back straight and your chest proud, making sure you’re looking up and forwards instead of at the ground.
Straight leg bounds
This simple yet effective drill may make you feel like you are in the Ministry of Silly Walks, but it can do wonders for your running form. Done correctly, it will encourage a mid-foot strike with quick turnover as well as engaging your glutes and improving ground contact time. Practising this drill regularly will help to reduce the deceleration caused by heel-striking and will help to increase your cadence, all factors that will help you to become a faster and more efficient runner. Make sure you are wearing a pair of stable, supportive running shoes to help with control on this drill.
How to: Keeping your torso straight with a tight core and swinging your arms to build speed and momentum, run forwards with your legs straight and your toes pointed straight up. Imagine your legs are mimicking a scissors motion and are pulling you forwards. Rather than kicking your legs upwards, focus on pulling them downwards each time in order to get the right result from this drill, which will encourage the glutes and hamstrings to engage rather than putting all of the pressure on your hip flexors
This fun-sounding drill looks just as funky as the name might suggest. As runners, we can be guilty of only ever training in one direction: forwards. It’s important to train in other directions as well in order to correct imbalances and improve agility and coordination. The Carioca drill
will see you moving laterally, which is perfect for practising footwork and enhancing your sharpness and dexterity of movement as well as training potentially underused muscles. Carioca will also train your hip mobility due to the raising of the knee and is a great workout for your brain too. You will soon see why!
How to: Stand with your feet wider than hip width and a slight bend in the knees. Shifting your weight onto your right foot, cross your left foot behind your right and move your right foot sideways so you’re back to your starting position. Then, cross your left foot in front of your right foot and move your right foot again to the side. Keep repeating this pattern for a few seconds before going back the other way. As you start to get the hang of the movement, speed it up so that you are jogging it and then running it. Hold your arms out to the side for balance. Make sure your hips move freely and you pull your knees up high for best results.
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