Video of me hurdling...

Well after seeing myself on video I realize that I’m not as good a hurdler as I thought I was. So go ahead and be completely honest with what you think I’m doing wrong and how to fix it. I’m already humbled as it is seeing myself.

The link to the video is below, but a few notes about it at first. The video is hosted in the media section of a wakeboarding website, therefore, I’m not sure how long it’s gonna be up before it (probably) gets deleted. Second of all, the file is massive (20mb or something like that). It’ll take a while for it buffer, so if you’re not on broadband I wouldnt recommend trying to view it.

So without further adieu, I present me, looking like a complete fool…

Here’s what I’ve concluded so far.

-My overall rythmn on the hurdles was off because we didnt have access to blocks, as a result I involuntarily (I didnt notice I did this until I saw the video a bunch of times) did a slight stutter step right before the first hurdle, and as result the clearance over the hurdle was a little high, which affected the following hurdles

-I cannot seem to get my arms to stay close to my body. I think part of the problem is I’m not bending my arms at my elbow, and so they just kind of bounce off to the side. I’m gonna try and correct this by consciously thinking about bending my arms like a natural swinging motion like I’m sprinting when I go over the hurdle.

-I have good acceleration to the first hurdle, but after that I kind of stop accelerating and go over the hurdles at a submaximal speed, even though I’m trying to give a 100% effort. I think this might be psycological, or the fact that I’m not in a racing situation, or maybe I’ve been so ingrained from the 5 step that I’m not used to accelerating as much as I should be. The only way I can think of to fix this problem is just practice the three step more and have my coaches and fellow hurdlers yelling at me to sprint while I’m going over the hurdles.

-Once I clear the hurdle, it seems that I’m letting my trail leg just sit there for a bit before I pull it down. I need to be actively snapping it down once it clears the hurdle. I dont really know how I can work on that other than to specifically focus on that during a hurdle run. However, I’m gonna push this issue to the side for a moment and instead focus on my arms.

Those were the things that really caught my attention. If anyone has advice on how to correct them I’d love to hear your input in regards to drills, technique, or just hurdling in general.

I’d start off by not wearing khaki shorts to hurdle…

Nah, they’re what used to be gold nike shorts. They’ve gotten lightened up in the wash. Same thing with the shirt, it used to be a sleevless gold underamour thing, but now it almost looks like some weird skin color.

Recommend reducing hurdle height (33-36) and distance between (8.8-9m) so you can “attack” each confidently without excessive wingspan. You already know that, ideally, arm movement should deviate little from normal sprint action. Eventually having a sweeping action with the forearm across the knee of the trail leg off of clearance.

For me, the frontside takeoff angles are high. becoming more of a vaulting action, as opposed to an aggressive bound with 3ext. In addition, the hips sink excessively during touchdown. Which, IMO, delay the immediate sprint action required for the next hurdle. You must stay tall throughout the landing-to-re-acceleration phase of each flight.

Thanks. A couple questions for you, to see if I can pick your brain a bit. How would you go about reinforcing proper arm mechanics? Do you just practice the proper form during warm-ups and at slower speeds until it becomes natural and easier to do at a full sprint?/

In terms of the angles, you are absolutely correct. Especially on the first hurdle, I’m almost jumping up instead of attacking through the barrier. Do you think carrying more speed into the hurdle will help with this (for example, during a race)? Also, you say that my hips drop while landing, but do you think that my hips are too low going into the hurdle as well, particularly on the third one?

Yes. The following clip is an example of some work that we do for arm tempo with hurdles. However, I prefer doing the same with hurdle walk-overs and/or skip-overs. In other words, 8 to H1, 3 to H2, 3 to H3, etc (8-3-3-3-3-3,).

We believe that improved extensor strength can correct this. Or at least a good part of it, since takeoff placement will be more under the hips than further out.

Oddly enough though, with improved speed this can become more of a concern. An efficient step pattern and monitoring takeoff-to-hurdle1 distance (practice adjustments) might help.

In addition, you may want to bring your chin up sooner to avoid that “snap up” re-acquisition effect to the first hurdle. That may be nit picking though.

Not at all. IMO, greater emphasis to come off horizontal with combined core/flexor/extensor strength gains could make the difference. Charlie’s midline points in sprinting hold true with working the lead and trail levers to center. Prepping the lead leg prior to touchdown may also help.

Do you have a coach???

Why would I want to watch a video of you throwing up?! That’s disgusting! Oh, wait. You said hurdling. Sorry!

RandyG, no, not really. Technically, there is a hurdle coach on our team, but the guy has shown up to practice maybe 1 time in the last 3 weeks. Before that, all he really did was to tell us to attack the hurdle. He’s a pretty good hurdler himself, but he’s not very good at teaching what he knows. That’s why I posted the video, to see what other people could help me with.

TMSSF, thanks again, I appreciate it.

I’m not sure what has been said thus far so let me appologize if I repeat something. Drop the hurdles down a notch or two and really get after it! Lowering the hurdle will allow you to be more aggressive and in turn really develop the take-off foot. Remember you want to basically sprint through the hurdle! Getting that take-off foot as close to under your hips as possible! Regarding your arms: try to keep your off-side arm in and around your hip as you are about to clear the hurdle! Increasing your strength/power around the hip will allow you to better handle the forces at touch down. These are few quick points, hope it helps!!! :slight_smile:

Thanks for the advice, but about dropping the hurdles. I’ve thought about dropping the hurdles before, but I’ve always been a bit hesitant to do so. Wouldnt dropping the hurdles in practice leave you unprepared for the race heights during competition? I’m just worried that I’ll be used to the lower practice heights and then in competition I’ll smash right into the hurdle or end up overcompensating and jumping way high in the air.

You don’t have to run every session at a lower height. I would drop the height on the days when you do long hurdle rhythm work (ie, 8-12 hurdles). Time should be spent at low or extremely low heights to develop rhythm, active feet, hip position etc. Oh yeah make you move them in a foot or so when you do!!! :confused:


Ahh, ok. Well thanks again for clearing that up, I’ll give that a shot in practice on monday.

The comments you have been given are very good.

  1. Try to stay off your heels, running “tall” as suggested. You are back on your heels or flat footed much of the time.

  2. Run the hurdles lower and closer together when you are doing speed and rhythm work. Work at regular height when doing most drills. Once in a while, you can do regular height for starts over 1 to 3 hurdles, but I’d pull them in closer by at least a foot.

  3. Don’t snap anything down. This resorts in an opposite reaction of the trunk, putting you in a poor landing position. You want to maintain lean (from the takeoff angle – not bending at the waist) into, over and landing off the hurdle. If your sprint position is good, your attack (lean) into the hurdle is good, your take off is at the right point, the rest of it will be easier. Once you’re off the ground, there’s nothing you can do about flight path – just stay smooth and fluid and try to stay in a good sprint position coming off the hurdle.

Alright everyone, thanks for the help. Today we’re bringing the camera back out to the track and so I’ll tape me again and see if I’ve made improvements. I’ll be doing flying runs over 3 hurdles as well as some longer hurdle work over lower heights for rythmn. There might be a few starts over 4 hurdles like in the first video, but probably not.

I notice you’re taking 9 steps to the first hurdle. Judging by your step pattern, you could certainly cut this to 8 (which is standard), as you were chopping your last few steps before hurdle 1.

This will not only help you to maintain a higher velocity, but it will cause you to take off slightly further away, cutting down the parabolic angle, as others have alluded to.

I’ve considered that, but then it would involve me switching my lead leg in the blocks, and since that is the one really strong part of my race (the start) I don’t want to risk that this late in the season. However, I will give starting with the opposite leg forward a fair shot and see if the 8 step to the first hurdle help me at all on Monday anyways.

NEW VIDEOS UP - I’ve got a few new videos of me in practice today. The camera was overexposed apparently, so I look really white (and I’m already a pretty white guy as it is), but whatever. Please tell me what you think. I took the advice and bumped the hurdles down to intermediate height (36" I believe). Please tell me how you think my form is as well as my speed between hurdles. More input, whether it’s the same as last time or not (I need people to keep pointing out my bad habits so I dont reinforce them), is always appreciated. Thanks in advance.

-30m run in, flying sprint over 3 hurdles at 36" at race spacing

-3 step over 2 hurdles at 36" one step in

-3 step over 3 hurdles at 36" one step in

-I broke a hurdle today during a 5 step warm-up, and so I thought I’d just throw this clip in here cuz I’m proud of it

All advice, input, and critiques are appreciated, be honest!

with reptition, having the other leg forward in blocks can be very effective. I had to switch my blocks when I did 8-steps to the first, and it actually didn’t take all that long to get accustomed to it. I now use that leg forward for all the block starts that I do, and use the natural leg only for jumping approaches.

my start is still an extremely strong if not the strongest part of my race, and believe me, taking 8 steps to the first hurdle instead of 9 will DEFINITELY be worth it.

I will try to see if i can get some video of my hurdling when it was actually good last year, i wasn’t the fastest kid at the open 55 or the open 100 but i made up for it with good starts and efficient clearance.

also re: lowering the hurdles in practice- when doing speed work i very often not only moved hurdles in but also lowered them- it really helps get a lot of speed going without having to worry about clearance, and when you get to a race the adrenaline presumably makes up for the height and distance.