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...
Must See
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 21,149,562
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 7,238,668
NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 33,710,661

Featured Videos

Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Views: 1,018,026
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 15,983
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 70,834
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

Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,362,770
Paul Rabil's Box Jumps Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 851,480
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,577,083
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,333,163
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,499,164

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Todd Durkin's 5 Exercises to Increase Your Agility

Todd Durkin's 5 Exercises to Increase Your Agility

Soccer Players: Get Quick on the Pitch

Soccer Players: Get Quick on the Pitch

3 Acceleration Drills to Get Faster

3 Acceleration Drills to Get Faster

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

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

Run Faster and Longer

Run Faster and Longer

Get Even More Out of Your Hill Sprints With These Variations

Get Even More Out of Your Hill Sprints With These Variations

Resisted Sprints: Use the Right Weight to Get Faster

Resisted Sprints: Use the Right Weight to Get Faster

A Linear Speed Progression for Increasing In-Game Speed

A Linear Speed Progression for Increasing In-Game Speed

5 Movements You Should Be Doing to Gain Football Speed

5 Movements You Should Be Doing to Gain Football Speed

Fine-Tuning Soccer Sprint Speed

Fine-Tuning Soccer Sprint Speed

What Is Fast in Soccer?

What Is Fast in Soccer?

5 Stretches That Can Instantly Make You Faster

5 Stretches That Can Instantly Make You Faster

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

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

How the Cable Machine Can Help You Get Faster

How the Cable Machine Can Help You Get Faster

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

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

Feed for Speed: 5 Foods and Supplements That Make You Faster

Feed for Speed: 5 Foods and Supplements That Make You Faster

Sprinting Tips from Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Johnson

Sprinting Tips from Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Johnson

These 5 Drills Will Increase Your Baseball-Specific Speed

These 5 Drills Will Increase Your Baseball-Specific Speed

Get Faster with High-Speed Treadmill Training

Get Faster with High-Speed Treadmill Training

Developing Soccer-Specific Speed

Developing Soccer-Specific Speed

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

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

YardBarker