Use Science to Increase Running Speed: Heel Up Drill

December 22, 2012 | Raymond Tucker

Must See Speed Videos

Make your science teacher proud and your track coach happy by increasing your running speed with the Heel Up drill. This exercise applies Newton's Third Law of Motion—"for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction"—and I can confidently recommend it. Pursuant to Newton's law, the Heel Up drill teaches proper backside mechanics, allowing you to run faster by bringing your heel up in recovery, stepping over the opposite knee and driving the leg down into the ground to apply force.

To better understand the drill, envision your legs movements when you're running or sprinting. It's like a bicycle pedaling action; your support leg is on the ground and your free recovery leg goes into backside mechanics. After the free leg foot touches the ground, it goes into recovery using backside mechanics by coming up underneath the glute, over the opposite knee and back down into the ground.

The Heel Up drill can be performed every day as part of your speed development program. When you first perform it, take your time until you master the technique. Go for 10 yards, then rest. Repeat three times. When you can perform it correctly every time, increase the distance to 15 yards, and then to 20.

Heel Up Drill

  • Stand tall with hips and chest up
  • Head neutral, eyes look straight ahead
  • Shoulders down in natural position
  • Arms at sides; palms face body
  • Raise right knee (free leg); left leg is support leg
  • Bend right arm at elbow, thumb faces right rear pocket (as if you were reaching for your wallet)
  • Bend left arm at elbow and hold it in front in closed position with fingers extended
  • Move down the field slowly, changing from right leg to left by bringing knee up and heel underneath glute with heel fixed in locked position
  • When you feel comfortable with the correct technique, increase speed
Topics: SPEED DRILLS
Raymond Tucker
- Raymond Tucker, CSCS, a Level 1 Track Coach certified by the United States Track and Field Association and Level 1 FMS certified by Functional Movement...
Raymond Tucker
- Raymond Tucker, CSCS, a Level 1 Track Coach certified by the United States Track and Field Association and Level 1 FMS certified by Functional Movement...

Featured Videos

Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Views: 153,019
Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Views: 80,502
Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,270,518
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,626,320
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 12,170,372
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 896,683
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,256
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,395

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
NBA All-Star Paul Millsap's Quick Feet Drill

NBA All-Star Paul Millsap's Quick Feet Drill

Get Faster with High-Speed Treadmill Training

Get Faster with High-Speed Treadmill Training

Increase Your Ankle Mobility to Sprint Faster

Increase Your Ankle Mobility to Sprint Faster

3 Acceleration Drills to Get Faster

3 Acceleration Drills to Get Faster

Sprinting Tips from Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Johnson

Sprinting Tips from Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Johnson

Six-Pack for Speed: 5 Core Exercises That Can Make You Faster

Six-Pack for Speed: 5 Core Exercises That Can Make You Faster

King of the Hill: 5 Hill Run Exercises to Supercharge Your Speed

King of the Hill: 5 Hill Run Exercises to Supercharge Your Speed

Why Youth Athletes Need to Focus On Strength to Improve Speed

Why Youth Athletes Need to Focus On Strength to Improve Speed

Fine-Tuning Soccer Sprint Speed

Fine-Tuning Soccer Sprint Speed

Get Faster With These Hamstring Exercises

Get Faster With These Hamstring Exercises

Increase Your Speed with Horizontal Force Training

Increase Your Speed with Horizontal Force Training

What Is Fast in Soccer?

What Is Fast in Soccer?

Resisted Sprints: Use the Right Weight to Get Faster

Resisted Sprints: Use the Right Weight to Get Faster

5 Stretches That Can Instantly Make You Faster

5 Stretches That Can Instantly Make You Faster

A Linear Speed Progression for Increasing In-Game Speed

A Linear Speed Progression for Increasing In-Game Speed

Get Even More Out of Your Hill Sprints With These Variations

Get Even More Out of Your Hill Sprints With These Variations

Todd Durkin's 5 Exercises to Increase Your Agility

Todd Durkin's 5 Exercises to Increase Your Agility

NFL RB Zac Stacy Works to Get Faster for the 2015 Season

NFL RB Zac Stacy Works to Get Faster for the 2015 Season

Speed Drill of the Day: Get More Explosive with Ankle Hops

Speed Drill of the Day: Get More Explosive with Ankle Hops

Developing Soccer-Specific Speed

Developing Soccer-Specific Speed

Soccer Players: Get Quick on the Pitch

Soccer Players: Get Quick on the Pitch

Le'Veon Bell Tweets Some Impressive Off-Season Workouts

Le'Veon Bell Tweets Some Impressive Off-Season Workouts

3 Ways to Build Sprint Speed (No Sprinting Required)

3 Ways to Build Sprint Speed (No Sprinting Required)

Building Sprint Speed for Soccer Players

Building Sprint Speed for Soccer Players

Why Agility Is Critical for Soccer Players

Why Agility Is Critical for Soccer Players

These 5 Drills Will Increase Your Baseball-Specific Speed

These 5 Drills Will Increase Your Baseball-Specific Speed

5 Movements You Should Be Doing to Gain Football Speed

5 Movements You Should Be Doing to Gain Football Speed

YardBarker