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Running Drill: A-Skip Progression

Running drills, like the A-Skip drill, are exercises designed to enhance your running form, and can help you to improve coordination between various muscles and joints so that you can run more efficiently.

If Andrius were to choose one running drill to start with, the A-skip would be his first choice!

The A-Skip drill is a powerful tool for improving your running efficiency, teaching you to quickly bounce from the ground - which is what we need to run faster – and improves your running posture. This drill is encourages your body to work in unison: knee lift, hip drive, foot drive, and arm swing.

Use it as training exercise on its own, or as part of your warm up exercises before faster sessions or races. We advise going for an easy jog for at least 10 minutes before starting running drills, otherwise you increase the risk of injury! 

You can break the A-skip into five stages. Spend time working through each stage – it’s an opportunity to deliberately work on your technique and build muscle memory.

Runner performing the 5 stages of the A-Skip drill

A-Skip in Five Stages

Level 1 | Leg Cycles

Keep your core engaged and shoulders down and back. Drive from your knee. Your foot should reach knee level on the opposite leg. The standing leg should stay straight and there should be little movement in the torso area.

 

Level 2 | A-Walk

Now add forward motion. Step forwards with full control ensuring that your heel reaches the same height as the standing knee, and your shin remains perpendicular to the ground.

 

Level 3 | A-Walk with Foot Push

This time add a light push or a little hop from your standing leg. Pull yourself tall with each step. Remember - keep your core engaged and shoulders down and back.

 

Level 4 | A-skip in one spot

We are almost there! Start skipping in one spot and do leg cycles. Your arm swing can be exaggerated, which can help to co-ordinate your legs better with the upper body. Try to bounce quickly, with short contact time on the ground.

 

Level 5 | A-skip

Reset your posture. Repeat level 4, this time adding forward movement. Find a good rhythm. Think about this drill as a rhythmical exercise. After you’ve finished with this drill session, try running a few 50 meter strides and notice the difference in your running form.