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Plyometric Exercises for Runners

Plyometric Exercises for Runners

Picture yourself on the starting line of a race. You’re in the blocks. You pull back to create eccentric motion in the lower leg before firing forward to victory. Now imagine yourself being able to shoot off even further. Want to know how? With plyometric training, which is beneficial for all track & field athletes, regardless of event. 

Those instinctive motions you go through before a race directly reflect plyometric training. Plyometric exercises develop a muscle’s stretch shortening cycle—when the muscle actively relaxes before a more forceful contraction. During the active relaxation phase, energy is stored and then shot off—like snapping a rubber band—to forcefully contract the muscle and tendon group. The following workout, which I designed, will improve your overall race times. (See also Building a Safe Plyometric Progression.) 

Before you begin, review these guidelines: 

Give yourself plenty of rest to recover between reps. 

Each exercise should be done at full speed. This workout should take 45 minutes, including the warm-up. To effectively train plyometrically, limit the amount of time you are on the ground. Try to land and re-jump as quickly as possible. 

Think explosive. These exercises are high impact, so they should not be done for endurance training. Limit your ground strikes to no more than 200 in the beginning. Eventually, you can work your way up to 500 touches in a workout. 

The heavier you are, the harder it will be to recover. If you weigh 200 pounds or more, give yourself at least 3 days to recover before your next plyometric training session. 

 

Runner’s Plyometric Workout 

Start with a dynamic warm-up. (Check out how to warm up like the pros.


Ankle Hops 

Sets/Reps: 3x10 (cumulative foot touches: 30) 

 Jump up and down bending only at the ankles 

Keep your knees and hips in with the rest of your body 


Knee Tucks 

Sets/Reps: 2x10 (cumulative foot touches: 50) 

Jump up and down, bringing your knees towards your chest at the top of the jump 


Bounding 

Sets/Reps: 2x20 (cumulative foot touches: 90) 

Start running, but leap into the air, extend your knees and reach for as long as your stride allows 


Dynamic Lunges 

Sets/Reps: 2x10 (cumulative foot touches: 130) 

Start in a lunge position Explode up and switch your legs 

Land in a soft position with your knees flexed and out 

 

Depth Jumps 

Sets/Reps: 2x20 (cumulative foot touches: 150) 

Stand on 12- to 16-inch box 

Step off the box and touch ground with both feet together 

Make sure your knees don't cave in and that you have proper alignment in your knees and hips 

Jump back up onto another box and land in a flexed knee position or a half squat 

 

Kneeling to Standing Explosive Jump 

Sets/Reps: 3x10 (cumulative foot touches: 180) 

Kneel on a pad or on the floor. 

Drop the hips lower and explode upwards 

Flex the knees and the hips and land on your feet in a half-squat position. 

 

Kneeling to Standing Explosive Jump to Sprint 

Sets/Reps: 2x10 (cumulative foot touches: 200) 

Repeat previous exercise but when you land, immediately sprint forward ten yards 

 

Originally posted on Stack.com. STACK is a multimedia company that provides credible and reliable information, tools and services to help active sports participants get better at the games they play and the lives they lead To keep up with all things AAU Track and Field LIKE us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/realaau and FOLLOW us on Twitter @AAUTrackNField!

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