Wicket runs or hurdle sprints (or whatever you want to call them!), are a fantastic tool for improving sprinting mechanics, thereby optimising movement and reducing high-speed running-related injury risk. The beauty of wicket runs is that they are extremely easy to implement, effective and challenge the athletes to independently improve their sprint mechanics.
I was introduced to wicket runs by a mentor and former supervisor of mine, Tom Reddin, during my time working with AFL. At the time, by implementing wicket runs religiously throughout the season, not only did we see improved running techniques and lower rates of hamstring injuries across the squad (compared to the previous season), but also the athletes got faster and aerobically fitter with almost no isolated aerobic work. It is safe to say, that wicket runs today form a pillar in my practice in preparing team-sport athletes to meet the physical demands of their sports.
I recently came across this excellent YouTube video where Coach Andreas Behm from ALTIS breaks down the rationale behind implementing wicket runs, and why every athlete should do them. I have provided the link to the video below. Be sure to check it out!
Find the author
Adriano Arguedas S.