10 Ways To Skip: The Ultimate Running Drill

Enjoy my fun new YouTube video, 10 Ways To Skip. I demonstrate some really fun and challenging drills to help you hone an excellent running technique. Skipping (and the many possible variations of the basic move that I demonstrate in the video), is considered the preeminent running drill to hone correct technique. This is especially important for sprinting, but also important for joggers too – watch Running Form: Correct Technique and Tips to Avoid Injury for details. 

The benefit of skipping is that it isolates and exaggerates certain phases of the sprint stride, so that you can train your central nervous system to quickly fire the muscles in an explosive and correctly sequential manner. This can be hard to learn when running at full speed, so drills are a hugely important element of any runner’s training protocol. Drills also help you build the muscle and connective tissue strength and mobility to absorb and benefit from high intensity sprint sessions. 

I hope you enjoy the video and check out many other helpful videos such as dynamic stretching, basic running drills, and advanced running drills. I should also mention how grateful I am to be back on the track here in February 2021 filming and performing these running drills, my jumping drills (video coming soon!) and sprint efforts. I suffered from a knee injury for six months that kept me away from the track. I kept in shape doing modified workouts (bike sprints, etc.), but it was really frustrating because I wasn’t getting better, and I didn’t even have a correct diagnosis. 

This is a great time to put in a plug for a high quality, athletic-minded healers, because everything turned around when I got the right care (thanks to Rod Shorey Woodland Hills, CA Physical Therapy, the amazing team at PT Revolution in South Lake Tahoe, CA, and Dr. Tim Langan at Tahoe Chiropractic). What I thought was a bad “knee” and likely needing surgery someday (NFL players heal faster from major knee reconstruction than my six-month sideline time!), was actually muscle weakness, tightness and imbalance. A few minutes into my first exam, Shorey said, “There’s nothing wrong with your knee! But your left hip flexor mobility is terrible.” Even though I am quite flexible and have great devotion to a bad-ass morning flexibilty/mobility/core and leg strengthening routine, I had specific dysfunctions and tightnesses that needed attention. During repeat visits at PT Revolution, Jason and Angie dug into my quads, calves, and hamstrings so deeply I was near tears, but I experienced immediate improvement such that I went from a six month stagnation (experiencing pain every time I tested the knee) to completely pain-free workouts within a week or two. Alert my fitness friends: when in doubt, seek out health care providers who lead a fitness lifestyle and have your athletic goals in mind. 

We talk about gratitude often these days as a favorite new cutting edge healthy living topic, and it’s easy to pay lip service to as we rush through hectic daily life. My layoff and return to action has helped me appreciate the concept more deeply. I’m especially appreciative of the discomfort that comes with making a maximum physical effort. We tend to complain and commiserate about how much we suffer during workouts, grumbling about the next set at a CrossFit session or getting into the pool early in the morning. When these opportunities are taken away from you, it’s pretty easy to recalibrate your mindset into the “bring it on!” realm. 

Here is the list of skipping drills you will learn in the video: 

1. Basic skipping 

2. Delayed skip (hold high knee an extra beat) 

3. Fast skipping

4. High skipping – jump high in the air upon each skip

Higher degree of difficulty moves: 

6. Hands & heels: Arms overhead, driving heels into the ground 

7. “B” skips: hamstring kickouts 

8. Giddy ups: both legs land at the same time 

9. Double hop: hop twice instead of once on each skip 

10. Franken skips: legs straight and extending forward on each skip

11. Franken skips with bicycle: execute bicycle pedal revolution in the air 

I have already noticed a difference in both recovery and performance since incorporating these simple skipping drills into my workout routine, and it’s been pretty interesting learning about the variety of ways this activity can benefit both your body and your mind. The Journal of Applied Physiology mentioned a study of young women who achieved increased bone mineral density in both their legs and the lower half of their spines after jumping only ten times, three times a week, for six months. That’s just ten times a session – and not even every day! Skipping also boosts your mood, improves memory, and alleviates stress, according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. This worthwhile activity is also amazing for your joints and your metabolism. What more could you want? It’s fast and free, and now, you know 10 different ways to skip, so you can’t say it’s boring! Check out 10 Ways To Skip here.

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