The 5 P’s To High Knees
The Play(s): We have three movements for you this month…All that help “Knee Lift”. The March, Skip and Double Skip
The Purpose: To focus on allowing your knees to come up to your waist height by letting your hip flexors be more “reactive.”
Pre-Snap Read: When you start all of these exercises, you want to make sure your standing up tall and straight with a stiff core. You want your limbs and muscles to be firing from a stable foundation, so it is important to make sure you are focusing on posture and a strong core before starting the drills
Performance: While these three drills are simple to perform, they are extremely critical to maximize speed and power when running. Starting with the High Knee March, begin marching forward in a controlled fashion, bringing your knees above the belt buckle, while using a relaxed arm action. This will help give you the form necessary to maximize the force you put into the ground.
Next, move to the skip. Basically, use the marching motion from above, but pick up the speed a bit and focus on getting your foot to snap off the ground. The goal here is to drive the knee down fast and let the hip flexor help create the foot to “bounce,” off the ground fast. The final drill in this series is the Double Skip. Here, the down leg on the ground hits the ground three times, before switching legs and maneuvering into the next skip. This helps you focus on the technique of the down leg to stay nice and stiff, while maintaining a good posture. Remember, in a typical skip the foot strikes the ground twice, and it is referred to as a skip. We call this the double skip because the foot hits the ground 1 extra time more than normal. To call it a triple skip may be a bit confusing, so we stick with the name, “Double Skip.”
Post-Drill Analysis: Were you bringing your knee above the waistline? Did you maintain a strong, neutral spine and stiff core throughout? Were your motions relaxed, yet controlled? Was your bottom leg stiff as it hit the ground the second and third time?