If you are a youth runner who is interested in hurdling, there are several ways you can start training. Before learning proper hurdling technique, it is important to build a solid foundation of speed, strength, and flexibility. Hurdling is one of the most difficult track and field events an athlete can participate in, so it is especially important to have the proper baseline before beginning training for this sport. Ask your coach for different drills and exercises you can do to improve your training. Check out some of the following techniques to improve your hurdling performance.
For any track athlete, one of the fundamental skills is speed. Hurdling races can be 100m-400m long and are won by the runner with the fastest time. Before running hurdles, focus on improving your speed. One way you can do this is through interval training. When you go for a run, alternate sprinting sections and then jogging sections. By putting on bursts of speed during your run, you can train your body to run faster. For example, try running 100 meters as fast as you can. Then, jog the remaining 300m on the track before starting again. For more tips on improving sprinting speed, look [here](https://www.coachup.com/resources/track-field/speed-is-a-skill). Although hurdling requires the ability to clear the hurdles, you aren’t going to win any races if you aren’t faster than the competition. So, try to develop your speed in addition to the technical skills that hurdling requires.
When it comes to hurdling, flexibility is essential. A great drill for youth hurdlers and any other athlete is high knees. While jogging, lift your knees up above your waist. You can hold your hands out in front of you for a benchmark. Hit your hands with your knees, focusing on getting the most amount of repetitions instead of jogging fast. This develops the leg muscles used for jumping in hurdling. Another drill you can do is high skips. Practice skipping up, getting as much height as possible. This also targets the jumping muscles.
You need explosive force from your legs to be a good hurdler. To improve this force, you can do plyometric exercises such as box jumps and hopping. Get a box and jump up onto it, landing in a squatting position. Then step back down and repeat. Another hopping drill you can do requires mini hurdles. Set up three mini hurdles in a row. Jump over each hurdle with both feet. Do it forwards and then backwards. This will improve your leg strength as well as agility.
Hurdling combines aspects from many different track and field events: running, jumping, speed, strength, etc. These drills can improve your hurdling base skills before you move on to hurdling technique.
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