4 Uphill Form Drills & Plyometrics for runners
Have you ever seen a runner with perfect form and wondered how they do it? Do they have a special genetic gift? Or did they work hard to develop their form? The truth is, good form is a combination of natural ability and hard work. Luckily, there are drills you can do to improve your running form and overall performance.
The Importance of Drills
Before we dive into the four drills, it’s important to understand why drills are so crucial for runners. Drills help to improve running form, increase stride length, and reduce the risk of injury. They’re the workout equivalent of a shower and a cup of coffee – they help to wake you up and get you ready for the day ahead. Plus, they’re a great way to show off your athletic prowess to fellow runners and unsuspecting bystanders.
How Steep Should The Hill Gradient Be?
This is subjective to how beginner or advance you are and also the difficulty of the drill. Rule of thumb is that you want to be able to do them well but be slightly challenged. About a 3-5% grade is best. Anything over 8% for most of these (esp bounders) will make it pointless.
Drill #1: Butt Kicks Uphill
The first drill is butt kicks uphill. This is a great drill for increasing your cadence and developing functional mobility in your knee joint. It’s also a good way to increase stability and improve your form. To do this drill, run up a hill and focus on bringing your heels up towards your butt with each stride. Try to land under your center of gravity and focus on quick foot turnover. And don’t worry if it looks like you’re trying to kick yourself in the butt – that’s just a sign you’re doing it right.
Drill #2: High Knees Uphill
The second drill is high knees uphill. This drill is designed to improve your stride length and develop your calf and Achilles muscles. It’s also a great way to improve your running form and increase your power and speed. To do this drill, run up a hill and focus on bringing your knees up as high as possible with each stride. Try to land under your center of gravity and focus on quick foot turnover. And if you feel like you’re doing a bizarre marching band impression, don’t worry – that’s just the price of greatness.
Drill #3: Bounders Uphill
The third drill is bounders uphill. This drill is designed to increase your stride length and develop your plyometric power. It’s also a great way to improve your form and reduce the risk of injury. To do this drill, run up a hill and focus on bounding from one foot to the other with each stride. Try to land under your center of gravity and push off with each stride. And if you feel like a gazelle bounding through the savanna, well, that’s because you are.
Drill #4: Skipping Uphill
The fourth drill is skipping uphill. This drill is designed to improve your stride length and develop your power and speed. It’s also a great way to improve your running form and reduce the risk of injury. To do this drill, run up a hill and focus on skipping from one foot to the other with each stride. Try to land under your center of gravity and push off with each stride. And if you feel like a kid skipping down the sidewalk to get ice cream, well, that’s just because you’re tapping into your inner child.
Drills are an essential part of any runner’s training program. They can help to improve your form, increase your speed and power, and reduce the risk of injury. Incorporating these four drills into your training routine will help you become a better runner and achieve your goals. So, next time you hit the hills, try adding these drills to your routine and watch your running game improve. And who knows – you might even start to look like one of those runners with perfect form.
What You Will Learn & Highlights
- Butt kicks uphill – get foot placed correctly
- high knee uphill – helps with getting knee up to shorten lever and running
- Bounders uphill – help with longer stride length
- Ankling/ankle overs – faster turnover
- and more!
“While you won’t kick your butt in a race butt kicks are great for stability, not landing side to side, uphill adds strength.”
“We do tend to do things we are good at, but should do things we are bad at. Because we are bad at them means we might need to do them more.”
“Bounding isn’t about speed, it’s about length. the more air the better. it’s functional plyometrics training.”
“High knees bring the knee up high, push the knee up from the ground on your foot and strengthen up the calf and achilles”
- Use run form drills and plyometrics to become an injury-free monster
- Dan Lieberman busts exercising myths
- More running drills from strength running (Jason Fitzgerald)
- Mike Trees Instagram
- DLake Runs Instagram
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