High Skips
A form exercise that develops powerful push-offs and greater knee lift; trains the body to use the elastic energy stored in the muscles and tendons; and develops strength, power, and endurance of the quads, hamstrings, and glutes

Instructions:

  1. Jump powerfully off one leg, while lifting the opposite thigh to a position parallel to the ground.
  2. Drive the arms up powerfully in opposition to the legs.
  3. Alternating arms and legs, continue the exaggerated skipping motion down a straightaway.

Performance Points:

  • Straighten the ankle, knee, and hip joints of the driving leg quickly as the foot pushes off the ground to get maximum height.
  • After take-off, bring the lead foot directly up under the butt.
  • Bring the thigh parallel to the ground at maximum height.
  • Flex the raised foot toward the shins so the foot is parallel to the ground at maximum height.
  • Land on the balls of the feet.
  • Drive the arms straight up without sideways or twisting motions and don't let the torso twist during the skips.
  • Keep the back straight, head up, and eyes forward.
  • Balance power and control. If the body is twisting out of alignment with the force of the skip, jump with less power and more control.
  • Focus on skipping as high as possible, not reaching the finish line as quickly as possible.

Training Specifics:

Duration / Reps:

  • Beginners: 2-3 repetitions over 10-20 meters
  • Advanced Runners: 5 repetitions over 30 meters

When:

  • Before the main workout
  • Or as part of a series of form drills repeated several times as the main workout

You Need: A straightaway

Benefits:

  • Develops more powerful push-offs and greater knee lift in the running stride
  • Trains the body to use the elastic energy stored in the muscles and tendons for efficient, powerful reactions to landing
  • Develops strength, power, and endurance of the quads, hamstrings, and glutes for faster turnover, longer strides, delayed muscle fatigue, and prevention of "leg collapse" (excessive bending of the leg joints and sinking of the hips upon landing)