How to Get Faster with Plyometrics

Posted: April 27, 2011 in Cross Training, Training
Tags: , , ,

Pro athletes use plyometrics exercises to sharpen their motor skills, increase speed and power and improve their game performances. Plyometrics use high-intensity, fast movements to train your nerves and muscles to perform better. You don’t have to be a pro to benefit from the many rewards of plyometrics. You can improve your race times, get faster and stronger by incorporating some plyometrics for runners into your training plan.

Do the following exercises on a track or cushioned, flat surface at least twice a week to step up your running game:

Tuck jumps can improve your running efficiency.

  • Tuck jumps — Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent and arms at your sides. Spring up to jump into the air, tucking your knees in toward your chest and bringing your arms out in front of your for balance. As you land, immediately jump back into the air. Repeat to do two sets of 15 tuck jumps.
  • Lunge jumps — Stand with your feet together and bring one foot forward, bending the knee to get into a lunge position. Your knee should be aligned with your ankle and not go past it and your back leg should be straight out behind you. Spring up into the air, pushing off both legs. Switch your legs in the air to bring your other leg forward and bent and bring the front leg back behind you to land in a lunge on the other side. As soon as you land, spring back up to switch legs again. Do two sets of 10 lunge jumps on each leg.
  • High knees — Stand with your feet slightly apart. Bring your arms out straight in front of you to help you balance. Spring one leg up toward your chest, bringing your knee up to touch your arm. As your foot lands, immediately push off with the other leg to bring the knee up to your hand. Repeat to do 25 high knees on each side.
  • Box jumps — Use a stable bench or wooden box for this exercise. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and spring up to jump onto the edge of the box. Step back down quickly and repeat. Do two sets of 15 box jumps.
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