100 Ups

100 Ups

Sometimes you come across an exercise which is not just a great workout, but also helps your other workouts become even better. (much like a great point guard in basketball makes the rest of his team better.) This is one of those workouts.

100 Ups will make your heart pump and your lungs burn, and you'll feel the workout in your body once you're done. But even better is how much of an impact it will have on your running form - do this exercise often and the rest of your running will get faster, smoother, lighter, and less painful.

How to do 100 Ups

  • Stand with your feet slightly less than shoulder width apart.
  • Quickly draw your right knee upward (so your thigh is parallel to the ground) and your right elbow back (so your hand is next to your chest). At this point you are standing on your left leg, with your back and shoulders straight, and your head facing forward.
  • Next, slowly place your right foot down and relax your right arm. Your foot should land in the exact same position is was in previously.
  • Now do the left leg & arm.
  • Repeat 50 times on each side, for a total of 100 "ups".

Adding Speed - once you've got the movements and balance down pat, you can speed up the motion. Eventually you should be running in place, with what looks like a high-step march.


Here's a video from the New York Times, with author and ultra marathoner Christopher McDougall discussing the history of the 100 Ups and giving a demonstration.

Here's another video (from naturalrunningstore.com) showing a similar demonstration.

Legal Disclaimer (don't blame me).

Warning - I am NOT a licensed physical trainer, therapist, nutritionist, or a doctor.  I am a regular guy who just happens to love exercise and fitness.

Exercise can be dangerous if done incorrectly or in excess.  I can't see you, and you can't see me, to know if you're doing an exercise incorrectly, which could lead to injury.

Please Please Please seek help / advice / counsel from a local professional before starting a new program, or before doing an exercise you're unfamiliar with.  This information is intended as a guide to point you in the right direction.  If you aren't familiar with the exercises described herein, I highly recommend seeking professional advice before trying them.