Whether you are sprinters, hurdlers, distance runners or jumpers, you want to develop an efficient running form through proper techniques and mechanics to run better and faster. While you work on speed and endurance, you need to condition, reinforce and maintain your strength, flexibility and agility. In addition, injuries may result from physical stresses that come from routine running workouts and daily activities, which you want to counter with proper running techniques and mechanics. We’ve designed running drills and built them into our Sunday practice. It can help our members become better sprinters, hurdlers, distance runners or jumpers, as well as staying healthy in their active daily life.

Below is a collection of running drill videos that we curated from various online resources and posted on our San Francisco Track and Field Club Facebook Page. Watch and practice! See you at the track!

Fast Leg

Fast leg, this is for you sprinters! Isolate your running range of motion and work on your running mechanics.

#RunningMechanics #MastersTrackAndField #sftfc
https://youtu.be/o8EYh2G6ySU

Posted by San Francisco Track and Field Club on Thursday, July 14, 2016

 

Note

This drill is a perfect tool to evaluate your running form. It lets you break down your running form, isolate your running range of motion, and focus on the running mechanics. At each fast leg, focus on your heel recovery, knee lift and foot strike. This is easier than it looks. Watch this video by CompleteTrack and get used to the rhythm.

Drill points – Make sure you do this right and quick

  • Simulate your actual running but one leg at a time.
  • Recover the heel from previous foot strike – remember butt kicks.
  • Step over the knee – don’t over extend your knee.
  • Drive the foot into the ground so it lands underneath the hips.
  • Maintain upright posture throughout this drill. Don’t bend forward or dip.

Benefits – This is why you do Fast Leg

  • Simulate your running range of motion.
  • Isolate your running range of motion and focus on mechanics

 

Pinocchio, aka, Straight Leg Shuffle

Straight Leg Shuffle for agility and proper foot strike.

https://youtu.be/U-GVoZOFkxU

Posted by San Francisco Track and Field Club on Thursday, June 30, 2016

 

Note

I am not lying. We call this drill Pinocchio (not sure why). More widely known as Straight Leg Shuffle, this drill improves agility and balance, while promoting proper mid-foot and forefoot strike techniques. Focus points for this drill are quick turnover and foot strike with quick pull. Also important is to maintain the upright posture. We tend to lean backwards when we do this drill. Watch this video by Jarrett Pelley at NST Sports Performance and practice your Pinocchio.

Drill points – Make sure you do this right

  • Raise your leg up to 45 degree angle.
  • Dorsiflex your foot as you quickly pull into the ground.
  • Strike the ground with mid foot and forefoot.
  • Maintain upright posture throughout this drill. Don’t lean backwards.

Benefits – This is why you do Straight Leg Shuffle

  • Improves agility and balance.
  • Promotes proper foot strike.

 

Knee Hug, Elbow Snaps and Hand Kick

Knee hug, Elbow snaps and Hand kick for hip mobility. #HipMobility #MastersTrackAndField #SFTFC

https://youtu.be/BGm2cbpeKvo

Posted by San Francisco Track and Field Club on Friday, June 24, 2016

 

Note

This week’s drill is about a series of hip mobility exercises to warm up: Knee hug, Elbow snaps and Hand kick. Watch the video by Willie Smith, Sports Performance Specialist at PurMotion. We are all familiar with these drills, but it is helpful to watch an Olympic gold medalist do these properly.

Drill points – Make sure you do this right – Knee hug

  • Roll off your heel onto the ball of your foot and push off.
  • Drive your knee up, grab and pull it to your chest.
  • Dorsiflex your foot as you lift your knee.
  • Maintain upright posture throughout this drill.

Drill points – Make sure you do this right – Elbow snaps

  • Hands behind your head.
  • Same foot and knee movement as Knee hug.
  • Drive up your knee and roll your torso slightly so that your knee touches your elbow.
  • Do not bend over to bring your elbow to the knee.

Drill points – Make sure you do this right – Hand kick

  • Keep your arms extended and parallel to the ground.
  • Roll off your heel and kick your leg towards your hand.
  • Kick slowly and lower slowly to prevent hamstring injuries.
  • Maintain upright posture throughout this drill.

Benefits – This is why you do Knee hug, Elbow Snaps and Hand Kick

  • Warm up and loosen your glutes, hamstrings, quads, ankles and feet.
  • Improve range of motion of hip flexors and hamstrings.

 

Skip for height

Skip for height to build a powerful running form. #EfficientRunning #MastersTrackAndField #sftfc

https://youtu.be/ZOXHOtLK6-c

Posted by San Francisco Track and Field Club on Thursday, June 16, 2016

 

Note

Today’s running drill video is all about powerful push-offs. Skip for height is not just an exaggerated running form nor a manifestation of your joy at the track, but is a great drill to build stronger lower legs, as well as to develop stronger quads, hamstrings and glutes. Watch this video by Terrence Mahon, head coach of Mammoth Track Club with Josh Cox and Sara Hall, and master this skip. Reach for the sky and let’s get vertical! Demonstration of your pride and happiness is optional.

Drill points – Make sure you do this right

  • Jump powerfully off one leg, driving the opposite knew as high as you can.
  • Activate your glute of the jumping leg for height.
  • Use your arms to gain vertical skip.
  • Maintain upright posture throughout this drill.

Benefits – This is why you do skip for height

  • Develop a running form with powerful push-offs and greater knee lift.
  • Develop skill to use the elastic energy in the muscles and tendons.
  • Prevent leg collapse by strengthening glutes, hamstrings, quads and knees.
  • Better body balance, coordination and agility for efficient running.

 

Pistol squat, aka Single-leg squat

Test your lower body strength with Pistol Squat. #EfficientRunning #MastersTrackAndField #sftfc

https://youtu.be/QtHBt94fiG0

Posted by San Francisco Track and Field Club on Thursday, June 9, 2016

 

Note

Today’s drill is for advanced athletes, as we have not done this at our practice. It’s more of a “Can you do this?” type of challenge for a change. Pistol squat, aka single-leg squat, tests your strength, stability and balance, all at the same time. Watch this video by Oakland Chiropractor – Dr. Jordan Fairley​ and give it a try. If too difficult, you might want to come to our practice on Sundays and build your strength first. Let us know how it goes!

Drill points – Make sure you do this right

  • Stand tall and extend your arms outward to balance.
  • As you squat slowly, don’t allow the food of the standing leg to turn outward or inward.
  • Keep your heel on the ground.
  • Squat as low as you can.
  • As you press to stand, picture pushing your knee outward a bit to apply torque.
  • If too difficult, use a chair behind you for support.

Benefits – This is why you do pistol squat

  • Test your strength in glutes, hamstrings, quads and other core muscles, as well as ankles and knees.
  • Develop coordination and balance.
  • Develop skills to apply torque for stability.

 

Hurdle mobility drills

Bring back the hurdles. Hurdle mobility drills. #EfficientRunning #MastersTrackAndField #sftfc

https://youtu.be/FWAM7wNj4n4?t=36s

Posted by San Francisco Track and Field Club on Thursday, June 2, 2016

 

Note

We have not done these drills for a while! This week’s drills require equipments, but these are great drills to increase the range of motion in your hips, as well as to enhance coordination and balance. Start with the lowest hurdle height and maintain as much control of your movements as we step over hurdles. Watch the video by Coach Jay Johnson and loosen up your hips!

Drill points – Make sure you do this right

  • Start with the lowest hurdle height. Adjust hurdle height as you feel more comfortable with these drills.
  • Stand tall as you step over each hurdle. Don’t look down at the hurdles. Maintain control of your movements.
  • Dorsiflex your lead foot.

Benefits – This is why you do hurdle mobility drills

  • Increase the range of motion in your hips, flexibility and strength.
  • Enhance core strength, single-leg stability, coordination and balance.
  • Warm up your back, hip and legs for track workouts.

 

Lateral Lunges

Lunges sideways. Lateral Lunges. Side Lunges. #sftfc #MastersTrackAndField #EfficientRunning

https://youtu.be/-K_CiRml-vQ?t=1m14s

Posted by San Francisco Track and Field Club on Thursday, May 26, 2016

 

Note

Let’s do some side-to-side drills! Lateral lunges, or side lunges, will work on your adductor muscles of the inner thigh, quads and glutes and develop better range of motion and balance. Since we are not used to lateral moves, start slowly with this drill. Make sure to keep your toes pointed forward when you side step into the lunge position. Side lunges start at 1:14 into the video, produced by Nikerunning and Coach Jay Johnson.

Drill points – Make sure you do this right

  • Start slowly as you may not be used to this exercise. Nice and easy.
  • As you lunge side to side, keep your toes pointed forward.
  • Keep upright posture and sit on the bent leg.
  • When coming back to standing, activate your glutes to power off the ground.

Benefits – This is why you do lunges

  • Strengthen your adductor muscles of the inner thigh, quads and glutes.
  • Develop better range of motion and balance.

If you are advanced lunge-master, you might want to watch this video and give it a try.

The Body Weight BurnoutNo equipment necessary:

Posted by Men’s Health on Friday, April 22, 2016

 

High knees

Build powerful running form with High Knees. #sftfc #EfficientRunning #MastersTrackAndField

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GdoirXLdXE

Posted by San Francisco Track and Field Club on Thursday, May 19, 2016

 

Note

Yes, high knees… Not everyone’s favorite, but this drill helps you develop strength and endurance of the hip flexors and quads. Once you master it, you will be able to generate more power and lengthen your stride. Watch this video by Nike+ Run Club and Coach John Smith and practice. Don’t forget to drive your knees high with your strong arm swings! ‪

Drill points – Make sure you do this right

  • Lift your knee high above your waistline.
  • Stay on the balls of your feet.
  • Look forward, keeping a good posture.
  • Use your arms to drive you forward fast.

Benefits – This is why you do high knees

  • Strengthen your hip flexors and quads.
  • Develop more dynamic, powerful and longer stride.

 

Grapevine, aka carioca

Carioca, aka, Grapevine to promote hip mobility and foot work. #EfficientRunning #sftfc #MastersTrackAndField

https://youtu.be/6f6zWwW4kJA

Posted by San Francisco Track and Field Club on Thursday, May 12, 2016

 

Note

Let’s watch how to do grapevine, aka carioca. We know this drill can make us a little awkward or unbalanced at times. Here Bobby McGee Running breaks it down to show you how it’s done effectively. The focus of this drill is hip mobility and foot work. As you get better at it, work on agility to perfect this drill.

Drill points – Make sure you do this right

  • If this is new to you, try the stool dance as seen in the video to get a good feel of crossing one leg in front of the other. You may also try the stool dance lifting one knee and leg in front of the other.
  • Start moving slowly sideways, crossing one leg over the other.
  • Stay on the balls of your feet.
  • Don’t look down.
  • Hold the arms up parallel to the track. Relax your shoulders and balance while you move sideways.

Benefits – This is why you do carioca

  • Stretch and loosen muscles in the hips, groin and abs.
  • Improves balance and coordination that build better footwork and agility.

 

Butt kicks

Butt Kick: Proper technique to kick butt. #EfficientRunning #sftfc #MastersTrackAndField

https://youtu.be/UfCH8LMmLH8

Posted by San Francisco Track and Field Club on Thursday, May 5, 2016

 

Note

Hope you perfected your A-Skips and B-Skips by watching last week’s video and practicing. This week, let’s re-visit “butt kick”. We do this every Sunday, but some people are doing it rather incorrectly. Watch this video and learn how to kick butt the right way. See you at the track on Sunday!

Drill points – Make sure you do this right

  • Lift your knee and bring your ankle all the way up to your butt. Do NOT kick your foot out behind you! Your thigh of the kicking leg should be parallel to the track.
  • Maintain the 90-degree angle at your ankle.
  • Look forward, keeping a good posture.
  • Stay on the balls of your foot.
  • Kick as quickly as you can.

Benefits – This is why you do butt kicks

  • Strengthen hamstrings by kicking quickly with force.
  • Build proper running mechanics.

 

A-skips and B-skips

Ever wondered if you were doing these drills correctly? Watch this video by coach John Smith at Nike+ Run Club and…

Posted by San Francisco Track and Field Club on Thursday, April 28, 2016

 

Drill points – Make sure you do this right

  • Focus on activating your glutes to skip.
  • Dorsiflex your foot as you raise your knee.
  • Stay on the balls of your foot.
  • Maintain good rhythm and skip as high as possible with good arm swings.
  • Chin up and look forward.
  • When doing B-Skips, extend your leg out in front of you you and claw the ground with the ball of your foot.

Benefits – This is why you do A-skips and B-skips

  • Develop powerful push-offs and stride.
  • Strengthen quads, hamstrings and glutes.
  • Build proper running mechanics.