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Training Tips – Butt Kicks

What Are Butt Kicks?

Butt Kicks are a basic drill that is usually included as part of a daily routine or warm up for runners. It is a common drill for team sports such as track and cross-country. Coaches use it to:

    • Warm up
    • Teach their runners how to be light on their feet
    • Help runners adjust to forefoot striking
    • Teach runners to reduce the amount of time their foot touches the ground (thus improving your cadence)
    • Reinforce good running form by emphasizing the recovery portion of your stride
    • Strengthen your hamstrings
    • Stretch your quads

How To Do It

Start by jogging in place:

  • Keep your feet as close to your center of gravity as possible
  • Land on your forefeet and then feel your heel lower and touch the ground

Then, begin to kick yourself in the butt as you run in place – literally.

  • Keep your entire body locked in position above the knee (do not bend at the waist to cheat)
  • Kick yourself in the butt with each stride
  • If you cannot touch your heels to your glutes, you need to work on your quad flexibility

Finally, begin running forward.

  • Keep the same form
  • Don’t worry about speed
  • Either run for a set distance (ex. 100 meters) or a set amount of time (ex. 30 seconds)

Additional Notes:

This drill helps you improve your dynamic flexibility. This is why it’s typically used in addition to most static stretches. It is featured in the popular home workout series P90X for this reason. This drill is very useful for people who have trouble shortening their strides, as Butt Kicks force you to land on your center of gravity and speed up your cadence. Otherwise, you’ll fall.

This post is a part of our Training Tips series, where you can find tips on drills, exercises, and general training. Click here to see the full series.

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April 10th, 2012
Written By: Brett

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