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Hurdle Training Without Using Hurdles

by
author image Melodie Anne
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.
Hurdle Training Without Using Hurdles
An athlete jumping over a hurdle. Photo Credit Hoby Finn/Photodisc/Getty Images

Whether you're an experienced hurdler or new to the sport, you won't always have hurdles available to practice with. You can do several types of exercises to improve your skill and strengthen your legs without having to go over hurdles. Conducting intermittent hurdle-free training sessions along with your normal regimen can improve your agility and endurance. Check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program, especially if you have health problems.

Stair Climbing

Climbing stairs can help improve flexibility and endurance, both important for hurdling. Head over to your local college or high school first thing in the morning to take advantage of the outdoor football field. Take a walk around the track and do a few stretches to get warmed up. Start running up and down the stadium steps. Skip as many steps as you safely can to give you a greater challenge. For example, start by skipping one step on your first run up to the top. Give yourself a more difficult workout by skipping two steps on your next time going up. Skipping steps requires you to push off with your back leg and leap with your lead leg, just as you would in hurdling.

Single-Leg Hopping

Improve your hurdle distance by practicing single-leg hopping. Stand on your left leg and lift your right foot off the ground. Start your hop on your left leg and finish it on the same leg. Swing your right leg and your arms to help give you more force for your hop. Landing on the ball of your foot allows your leg to store energy so you can immediately hop on the same leg again, says Brian Mackenzie, an athletics coach in the United Kingdom. Continue hopping on your left leg for a specific distance or a set of hops. Switch legs after you complete the first series, and continue to practice on both legs.

Box Jumping

Line up six to eight wooden boxes, each about 3 feet apart. Boxes should stand between 1 1/2 feet to 2 feet high. You may want to place weights inside the boxes to help keep them stable. Stand at the beginning of the row with your legs shoulder-width apart. Bend down into a squat and jump onto the top of the box with both feet landing at the same time. Jump down with both feet landing on the ground at the same time. After practicing, you should be able to seamlessly jump from one box to the next without stopping. Getting this routine down may help improve your hurdle jumps. You will be forced to focus on where your feet land, while building leg strength through squats and jumps.

Bunny Hops

Stand tall and comfortably with your knees parallel to your shoulders. Lower your buttocks to the ground, while keeping your back straight, until you are in a squat position. Jump forward, focusing on height and distance. Complete several sets of bunny jumps while hurdle training. You should be able to do five to 10 bunny jumps per set. Further help with your hurdle jumps by bringing your knees close to your chest while doing a set of bunny hops.

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