To increase flexibility, balance, coordination, and agility, we incorporate various hurdle drills we refer to as Hurdle Mobility exercises.
These exercises help strengthen muscles in the hips, and increase mobility in the abductor and adductor muscle groups. They also help develop fluid movement in the hips, and help strengthen the muscles in the core and lower body.
By using a group of 10-15 exercises, you can stimulate the muscular system in a different way, allow for greater hip rotation, and loosen up the muscles in the lower back. This helps you become a smoother and more efficient runner. Track & Field and XC athletes have been implementing these exercises into their workout routine for the past 15 years.
Along with varying the exercises, additional stimulus can be provided by varying the exercise routine, adding more hurdles, and also by raising the hurdle height to the next level. To track progression, you can count the number of exercises and repetitions for each workout (for example, 12 exercises x 6 hurdles = 72). Begin with 2 days/week and increase to 3 to 4 during the year. These should be done year round.
These exercises can be done as a warm-up, warm down, or included in the actual workout. Nike Oregon Project runners will do a 15-20 minute session after a race to promote recovery and reduce muscle tightness and imbalances. By constantly changing up the routine you can challenge the system and avoid plateauing.