Plyometrics for Performance & Injury Prevention
Plyometric exercises, also known as "jump training," involve explosive movements that increase strength, speed, and power. These exercises have been popular among athletes for decades and have proven to be highly beneficial for runners. Plyometrics can help runners improve their performance and reduce the risk of injury. Below outline some of the benefits of plyometrics for runners and why these exercises are important for injury prevention as well as performance.
Plyometric exercises help runners to build explosive power, which is important for agility and pushing off during running. These exercises involve stretching and contracting the muscles quickly, which helps runners develop power in their legs. This increase in power can translate into faster running speeds and more powerful strides.
Plyometrics can also improve runners' agility and coordination. When runners perform plyometric exercises, they need to coordinate their movements precisely to avoid injury. This is particularly important for trail running; where coordination can translate into better form and balance when running, reducing the risk of falls and increasing efficiency.
Plyometrics can help runners reduce the risk of injuries. By strengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, runners can reduce the risk of injury from overuse or sudden impact. More injuries that involve tendons, like achilles tendinosis, plyometrics can increase the tensile strength of a tendon and make it more resilient over time.
Finally, plyometrics can help runners improve their overall fitness. By incorporating plyometrics into their training, runners can develop strength, power, agility, endurance, and coordination. These benefits can help runners achieve their goals, whether they want to run faster, farther, or simply stay injury-free.
Plyometric exercises offer numerous benefits for runners. These exercises can help runners improve their performance, reduce the risk of injury, and build overall fitness. By incorporating plyometrics into their training, runners can develop power, agility, endurance, and coordination. Below are some exercises to work on plyometric power. It should be noted that plyometrics naturally require a lot of skill and power and should not be performed by individuals just starting strengthening. If you are just starting strength training, work on developing strength through some of the earlier modules.
The following exercises are great exercises to start plyometric training. Try these exercises for several weeks before progressing to higher level jumping exercises.
Superband Assisted Pogos
With a superband or TRX hanging, press through with your hands and perform explosive hops using upper body support.
Double Leg Pogos
Standing on two legs perform small jumps up and down from the ground. Try to be explosive and spring through your calf.
Forward Box Jumps
Standing in front of the box, perform a quick mini squat and then explode up and forward ono the box. Land on the box, collect yourself and then jump off.
Box Drop Squat
Standing at the edge of the box. Step off and land double leg into a deep squat.
The following exercises are a bit more advanced. Try these exercises for several weeks before progressing to Level 3 exercises.
Superband Assisted Pogos
Standing on one leg with a superband or TRX hanging, press through with your hands and perform explosive hops using upper body support.
Forward Double Leg Jump to Single Leg Jump
Starting on two legs, jump forward onto one leg. Try to stick the landing.
With one foot on a box, explode up through the stance leg that is on the box.
Lateral Double Leg Jump
Starting on two legs, jump lateral back and forth across a tape. As you get more comfortable, increase the speed.
These exercises are more advanced. Only try these after progressing through Level 1 and Level 2.
Lateral Jump into Superband
Holding onto a superband, jump laterally into the superband keeping your shoulders and hips sqaured.
Single Leg Pogos
Standing on one leg perform small jumps up and down from the ground. Try to be explosive and spring through your calf.
Single Leg Lateral Tape Jump
Stand on one leg jump lateral over a piece of tape. Increase speed as you start to feel more comfortable.
Single Leg Jump onto Box
Standing on one leg, explode of the ground and land on a box. Try to stick the landing.