Hurdles

Hurdles involve running (not jumping) over 10 barriers. The two main hurdling events are sprint hurdles (75m to 110m depending on age and sex) and the 400m hurdles. Here we explain the hurdling technique as well as some simple drills to help learn or improve your hurdling.

International Athlete, Sports Model, and Presenter Jenny Pacey gives advice to TeachPE about how to improve your hurdle technique.

Hurdling technique

Hurdle drills

  • The aim is to run tall on the toes and aim to have a fast lead leg – slightly bent, not straight.
  • The lead leg should come up fast and down fast with the athlete running tall, on toes with high hips.
  • This isolates the trail leg.
  • The aim is to run tall on the toes with hips high and pull the trail leg through as fast as possible and forwards into the next stride.
  • A common mistake is to bring the trail leg down early before it is pulled through with the knee-high in front.
  • This is an excellent warm-up exercise which can also be done as a strengthening exercise if enough sets are performed.
  • The aim is to walk tall on toes, hips high and walk over the hurdles with good technique.
  • Most hurdlers will do this as a warm-up – or for example, performing 10 sets on each leg will have a strengthening effect.