By Tony Veney
One of the things that’s a little different aside from frequency and stride length as far as hurdling is concerned and sprint hurdling, as opposed to regular sprinting, is the big split that you are going to get between the legs as a hurdler attacks and moves through their hurdle stride. So what we have to do is we have to stretch the gluts and the hamstrings, the hip flexors, the hip extensors, a little bit more to get a longer range of motion, big stretch and a big snap back. So what we are going to do first with Tony here is an exercise that is called force stretching.
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Tony is going to do a leg swing movement, as most athletes have seen, regular leg swings, but this time, I’m going to catch his leg and he’s going to pull it out of my hand as he swings back and he is going to do this. We are going to do this about three or four times. And I’m just going to catch and he’s going to pull it out. I’m not going to provide very much resistance other than the ability to just hold the leg in a position. What this does is this helps load the hip flexors and the hip extensors, gluts and ham strings, get a really good piece of work here. All right, here we go. Makes the catch, pulls out of my hand. And pulls out. And pulls out, two more, and one more and very good. So what this does is, it helps develop the strength and the awareness for the hurdler to attack the ground with that good lead leg position. Also, some hurdlers have a tendency to jump into the hurdle without really attacking and extending the hip into the hurdle. And so now what Tony is going to do is he’s going to move a little bit closer to the wall for his stability.
To get a little balance, I’m going to move to the other side, and now we are going to reverse the movement. He’s going to swing forward, but I’m going to catch his thigh on the backside and he’s going to pull it out of his hand, to really help establish a little bit more strength and stability in this area. Okay, three more, two more. One more. And pulls it out, very good.
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Tony Veney is one of the most respected individuals in track and field. He has over 35 years of track and field coaching and teaching experience, including stints on the staffs at the University of Oregon, Portland State, UCLA, and currently Ventura College. During his extensive career, he has coached numerous all-conference and All-American track and field athletes. Coach Veney has experienced success coaching youth, collegiate, and elite sprinters and hurdlers. A 1976 graduate of UCLA, he was the 800 meter record holder for the Bruins and was a member of two NCAA outdoor track and field championship teams. Veney is a USATF level I-II-III instructor, with a Master of Coaching Certificate. From 1987 to 2000, Coach Veney was a regional and national Sprint Development Coordinator for USATF.
Tony Veney is the head track and field coach at Ventura Community College in Ventura, CA.