A form exercise that strengthens the hamstrings and trains them to contract forcefully as the feet strike the ground
Tags: middle school, form
Butt Kicks demand full-body coordination, so we suggest teaching the drill in four phases. Once all four phases of Butt Kicks have been mastered, focus on phase 4.
- Phase 1: Keeping the arms at the sides, slowly kick one foot and then the other to the butt.
- Phase 2: While still kicking at a slow pace, add arm swings to the leg movements.
- Phase 3: Pick up the pace, moving in place as quickly as possible.
- Phase 4: Add forward motion and do Butt Kicks quickly down a straightaway.
- Bring the heels all the way back to the butt.
- Bring the heels straight back, not to the sides.
- The thighs of the kicking legs should stay almost perpendicular to the ground without lifting in front of the body as they do when running.
- Look straight ahead with tall, upright posture.
- Swing the arms from the shoulders, not the elbows.
- Keep the elbows bent about 90 degrees, with the hands passing the body near the hips.
- Swing the arms straight, without any side-to-side movement.
- Swing each arm in sync with the opposite leg.
- In phases 3 and 4, land on the balls of the feet.
- In phase 4, focus on doing lots of quick kicks, not on racing forward.
- Make sure not to lose form when adding speed. Maintain a slow pace until proper form is mastered.
Duration / Reps:
- Beginners: 2-3 reps of 10-20 meters
- Build to: 3-5 reps of 30 meters
When: Before or after the main workout; or as part of a series of form drills repeated several times as the main workout
- Trains the hamstrings to contract forcefully as the feet strike the ground, which leads to quicker lifting and swinging of each leg and increased turnover rate
- Strengthens the hamstrings, which helps prevent injury