Most people stop training like an athlete once they are done with high school or college sports, yet when it comes time to play a pickup game with their friends, they will except to still be on their game. Not everyone’s goal is to be on stage during a bodybuilding show, so why only train that way? Our bodies are meant to move, and training like an athlete is not something you need to just stop doing at any age.
Using mini-hurdles is a great way to train like an athlete without needing much equipment. They are not expensive and can be used nearly anywhere. Mini-hurdles are a fantastic tool for increasing speed and explosive acceleration.
You might be thinking, why does this apply to you? If you want to perform at your best level, you cannot improve your health or strength by looking good and feeling strong if you are injured. You need to prep your body when you want to play that pickup game with your friends. Let’s dive into why you should be doing them.
Mini-hurdles are smaller hurdles that can be done with both legs (bilateral) and with only one leg (unilateral). Typically you will hop forwards and lateral (sideways) over them. Training this way will help your entire leg, including strengthening the knee and ankle joint. This is critical in preventing ankle and knee injuries when avoiding a potential collision while walking, stepping off a curb, etc… during everyday life and activities.
Great For Control
When you jump over the mini-hurdles as you land, balancing with the ankles activates the calves and tibialis muscle. Using the mini-hurdles allows you to train and gain greater control over your extremities, thus activating them better when a speed-required situation comes up.
This is not just for sport situation. We can use this application during everyday life and even when we are in the gym when performing squats, deadlifts, and any other lower body exercises.
You jump; now what? Have you ever heard of “driving your arms”? The arm drive is essential for maximizing speed, and these drills help the athlete learn to use both the backward swing of the arms and the forward swing to generate power.
Mini-hurdles are a great way to train the sprinting drills and help athletes understand how to get into a desired sprinting position with a higher knee lift and more effective heel recovery.
Just like the jump, how we land is as essential. Landing over the mini-hurdle with your arms ready to drive forward for the next jump is an integral part of mini-hurdle drills. Focusing on the landing ensures the athlete is trained to land properly with one leg and both legs, even when unbalanced, to avoid injury.
Your quality of life is one of your most important long-term health benefits. Enjoy the gym but remember you are training for real life as well.