Track: Drill to Keep the Trail-Leg Tight Over the Hurdle

Track: Drill to Keep the Trail-Leg Tight Over the Hurdle

Dick Moss, Editor, PE Update.com

Incorrect Technique:Trail Leg is Extended (Heel Is Not Kept Tight to Backside)
Incorrect Technique:Trail Leg is Extended (Heel Is Not Kept Tight to Backside)

An important element of good hurdle technique is a compact trail leg over the barrier. That is, the heel of the trail leg should be kept tight to the buttocks as it crosses the hurdle.

If it's allowed to extend as it crosses, it increases the length of the lever that must be moved forward. This is basic physics: with the same amount of force, a longer lever moves more slowly.

An extended trail leg may also produce a counter-action from other areas of the body: possibly lateral body lean, and/or a high trail-leg arm. And, in certain circumstances, an extended trail leg might even infringe on an inside lane, causing disqualification.

Trail Leg Drill 1. Place Instep of Trail-Leg on Top Edge of Hurdle
Trail Leg Drill
1. Place Instep of Trail-Leg on Top Edge of Hurdle
This is most likely with 400m hurdlers while running around a bend.

Here's a drill that will teach your students the correct position of the trail-leg heel as it crosses the hurdle.

Setup
Have your students lean against a wall. Place a hurdle sideways beside each student and have them place the instep of their trail leg on top of the hurdle.

Instruct them to pull the trail leg forward, dragging their instep along the hurdle. They continue pulling forward, finishing with a high knee in front of the body. They then perform more repetitions of the movement.

2. Pull Trail-Leg Forward, Dragging Instep Along Top of Hurdle
2. Pull Trail-Leg Forward, Dragging Instep Along Top of Hurdle

In my experience, the best hurdles to perform this drill are steeplechase barrieirs - they have a wide, flat surface and a solid base that make the drill more effective.

This drill forces good trail leg mechanics: heel tight to the buttocks, and knee pulled beneath the armpit. And it's a great specific flexibility exercise for the trail leg.

Variation
To develop extra flexibility, angle the hurdle so the front is higher than the back. This forces an even higher pull of the knee beneath the armpit.    

References:
1. Dr. Ralph Mann, PhD,, The Mechanics of Sprinting and Hurdling, CreateSpace 2011.
2. Loren Seagrave, Speed Dynamics Level III Hurdles Seminar,  Cleveland, Ohio, November 1995.


To download the pdf version of this
article, click here: Download Now

© 2011, Physical Education Update, www.peUpdate.com

Bookmark and Share

Printer-Friendly Format