How to: Do Hurdle Step Overs

Hurdle Step Over - Good

Hurdle Step Over - Good

Name:  Hurdle Step Over. Also known as:   (If you know these by any other name, please leave a comment below). Main muscles used:  Hip stabilisers, bums, legs. Other muscles used:  Ankle stabilisers. Top tips:

  • Stand in front of a hurdle/barrier whose height is approximately knee height.
  • Stand tall and keep your body straight and vertical.
  • Lift your knee and foot over the barrier without touching it.
  • Keep your lifting knee directly over your lifting foot.
  • Step over the barrier and "hurdle" your trailing leg over by cocking your knee and foot over to the side.
  • Land secure and stable, then repeat with other foot.
  • Keep your whole body square and facing the front at all times.
  • Make sure the movements come from the hips, not any other joints.
Hurdle Step Over - Bad

Hurdle Step Over - Bad

Common mistakes:

  • Turning the leading foot out to one side or other.
  • Not lifting the leading knee high and keeping it directly over the leading foot.
  • "Hitching" the leading hip up to help the foot over the barrier.
  • Bending or twisting the spine.
  • Not lifting either knee high over the barrier.
  • Doing everything possible to avoid lifting either knee.
  • Losing your balance and falling over or hopping around.

Comments: This is a good warming up mobility exercise.  It looks easy and simple, and is very easy to do badly.  But of course, the trick is to do it properly, and then it gets harder. It gets the hips moving in lots of directions and is a very practical move.  Done properly, it can help teach people to move more efficiently by using the hips more and the spine less.  And finally, by getting people to stand and maneuver on one leg, it is a very good balance exercise and developes the often over-looked hips stabiliser muscles.