The High Knee Wall Drive


By Kyle Arsenault CSCS


If you read last weeks post you would know that this past weekend the Momentum Team traveled to Hamden, CT to spend the weekend learning from one of the best strength and conditioning coaches in our industry, Nick Winkelman of EXOS ( if you don’t know about Nick click HERE and just know that he is an incredibly smart dude!). 

A majority of the conference was focused on getting athletes fast (acceleration and top speed) as well as how to help athletes enhance reactive ability (agility). Because of this we covered numerous drills that helped bring about and solidify mechanics in both acceleration and top speed movement.



A couple of key concepts that were carried throughout the entire weekend were:

1)      The importance of a quality knee drive (a violent action achieving 80 degrees of hip flexion with one leg, while simultaneously achieving full hip extension of the other…also known as hip separation).

2)      The importance of maintaining a long, rigid torso during sprinting, running and overall movement as it acts as an anchor for leg and arm action and a base for force transfer (this is nothing new if you have been reading my articles about the importance of core position and control all along!).

When we can maintain a long, rigid torso via a strong and properly functioning core we can then transfer force efficiently which allows us to sprint faster, cut quicker, lift heavier and move better overall…a good thing if we are trying to enhance overall health and performance.

And with these goals in mind, Nick brought us through a series of drills.

While there is no way I can cover all of these drills in this article (nor would I as I am not a fan of straight regurgitation of information) I do want to present one drill that I have begun to implement with my athletes that has tremendous overall benefits, not just speed development.

And what better way than with a quick video?!

So here is a video covering the High Knee Wall Drive. Below the video are some key benefits of the exercise as well as a little further discussion. Check it out and let me know what you think!



Key Benefits

1)      Promotes the quality and timing of hip separation (hip flexion and extension) which is critical for sprinting, running and many other lower body movements such as lunges, single leg deadlifts, step ups, etc.

2)      Provides core control and strengthening (our ability to maintain trunk posture/position so there is no flexion, extension or rotation while moving extremities).

3)      Along with number 2, it helps to improve overall postural awareness.

4)      Works to improve single leg stance by focusing on not allowing a weight shift and hip fallout.

5)      Helps to activate the glute of the down/drive leg.

6)      Helps to enhance strength of hip flexor of the up/through leg.

Once your High Knee Wall Drive is solid you can then take the same principles to marching, skipping, bounding and then running. And again, this is not only great for running mechanics, but more so, overall efficient movement. 

Hopefully this article and video gives you another exercise to add to your arsenal, and you understand just how effective it can be when executed properly. Let me know what you think as you start to use it.

If you have any questions or comments leave them below.

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