Plyometrics is a type of training involving short, intense movements involving maximal force. They were first developed by soviet countries during the cold war and have gained popularity over the decades. It is primarily used by athletes to improve performance. Lately, it has become popular with runners to improve strength and speed without bulking up and to condition the neuro-muscular system.
Why is it important?
Plyometric exercises have been shown to increase speed and explosive power in contact sports. They also give your leg muscles an intense stimulus which guarantees an increase in muscle potential which can aid in strength improvement.
Is it suitable for me?
These are very intense in nature and not designed for the novice or someone recovering from an injury. You will be putting a lot of load on your joints and tendons. It is better to avoid plyometric training to reduce the risk of injury if you have not worked out in a while and don’t have adequate cardio – vascular endurance and muscular strength. Ideally, they should only be performed by well-conditioned individuals or under the supervision of a health professional.
Below is an efficient plyometric work-out which can be used as part of circuit training or on the off day from running.
Squat Jump: (3 sets of 5)
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at sides.
- Start by doing a regular squat and then jump up as high as you can
- When you land, lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep.
Split Jumps: (10 on each side)
- Lunge forward with your right thigh parallel to the floor
- Swinging your arms for balance, jump up and switch arms and legs in mid-air.
- Land softly in a lunge with your left foot forward. Repeat
Diagonal Jump with Touch (5 on each side)
- Stand with your feet together, your knees slightly bent and your hands in front of you.
- Jump to the left in a diagonal fashion, landing on the left foot,
- Squat until you can touch the top of your left foot with your right hand. Now jump to the right
Offset Side Hops (5 on each side)
- Place cones or small water-bottles on the floor in a straight line.
- Hop over the first cone with both feet, then march on the spot for 3 seconds.
- Hop over the next cone and repeat.
Perform at Your Best,
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