Plyometric Hurdles - Product Review
By Maisie Grice, U23 steeplechase athlete
I am a steeplechase athlete and have represented Great Britain Juniors for this event. As a steeplechaser, I have found it challenging during lockdown without track access, and I had to be flexible and adapt my training. I ended up doing many sessions on a variety of surfaces. These sessions took place on grass, road, and my favourite was training down the seafront (with the wind, of course!).
USING PLYOMETRIC HURDLES FOR TRAINING
At the start of lockdown, I had limited equipment and made hurdles out of bamboo sticks and balancing poles on the fence. However, after using the Plyometric Scissor Hurdles, this has massively assisted me in my training.
The Plyometric Hurdles have been a great addition to my training and have allowed me to get back into my usual structure. Usually, I would complete hurdle drills twice a week, do run-overs after sessions, and get back into my training regime using these particular hurdles. Near my home, I am very fortunate to have access to a 110m athletics straight in a local park. During lockdown, this meant I was able to practise my speed drills, hurdle technique and shorter sprints on the track.
ADAPTABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT HURDLES FOR ATHLETES
The plyometric hurdles are incredibly portable and easy to pack away. The stand also folds up, and the bar across the top separates. I have four of the Plyometric hurdles, and these easily pack into the boot of my car. Although safe and sturdy, they are also extremely light, and when training alone, I can easily carry all four hurdles to the track. Putting the hurdles up is a simple process, whereby the hurdle stands have pins on the top, which slots in the holes on either side of the top bar. I have also found the height marking under each hole useful, meaning the height is easily interchangeable and means I can easily switch between hurdle heights during one session.
The hurdles are also good as they are so lightweight that I can easily change their position and distances between them without any fuss! And as the hurdle height is inter-changeable, I can do plyometric drills over them.
I have never had small plyo hurdles before. But, as the height of the Neuff Scissor hurdles is easily adaptable, I can quickly lower them and do plyo drills before putting them up higher for more dynamic drills. It is brilliant being able to do all my drills and technique work with just one set of hurdles.
GETTING BACK TO HURDLE DRILLS AFTER LOCKDOWN!
I was so excited to get back to hurdle drills, as they are so crucial for hip mobility, core strength and general balance. They also stress technique and allow you to isolate and focus on critical elements within your hurdle technique. Hurdle drills are really beneficial not only for the hurdler or steeplechaser, but for all athletes on both track and field. Going through the motions of running and working on hip mobility is a straightforward way to improve running economy without any extra stress on the body. A general hurdle drill session would look something like this:
- Straight-leg walkovers
- Side skips
- Isolated trail legs
- Isolated lead legs
- Hurdle run overs
I really enjoy the run-overs at the end, as this allows me to put my technique into practice. I often get someone to record me so I can put it in slo-mo, pick out key strengths, and identify weaknesses.
MY TYPICAL HURDLE SESSIONS
Now being back on track, I am looking forward to using them in my hurdle sessions. A typical hurdle session would look something like this:
- 12x400m, alternating hurdles and flat, 60s recovery
- (all over hurdles) 1200, 800, 600, 600, 400, 400, 400
- (all over hurdles) 3x800 (first lap steady, second lap hard), 3x400 (first 200 easy, second 200 hard)
These hurdles have been fantastic for my training during lockdown and have assisted me in getting back to regular training. They are portable, lightweight, and of excellent quality!
ABOUT MAISIE GRICE
Maisie is an accomplished U23 steeplechase athlete, who represented GB Juniors in 2019 and ended up ranking a respectable 13th in Europe. She was also 1st reserve for GB Juniors for the European Cross Country.
Earlier this year, Maisie made an impact at the women's 2000m steeplechase by shooting up to No. 10 on the UK all-time rankings, with a time of 6:32.15. She also earned her first senior vest in this year's women's 3000m steeplechase, as well as gaining a PB of 10:09.23. We can't wait to see her go even further in the future!