Welcome to the latest edition of Workout Wednesday! Today we are incorporating plyometrics into our workout! Plyometrics are jumping exercises that use maximum force to develop muscle power, which in turn can help you run faster. Runners who systematically use plyometric exercises in their training plan can increase speed and running efficiency. Before attempting plyometric exercises you should have a solid base of body strength, core strength and balance. Do you have four minutes? Let's get started!
This workout is done in Tabata-style: 20 seconds work with 10 seconds rest for four minutes. In this workout you will cycle through the four exercises for four minutes. For an increased challenge just do one exercise at a time for the whole four minutes using the 20 seconds work/10 seconds rest protocol.
You will need a Tabata timer. You can download a free one in the App store or Google Play. I use a Gymboss Interval timer. (<---affiliate link)
With your feet hip width apart and your toes pointed straight ahead, engage your core, keep your chest up and back straight. Take one large step with your right leg to lunge forward until your front knee is lined up over your ankle and your back knee is nearly touching the floor. Do not allow your knee to move forward over your toes. Resist the urge to lean forward or rest your arms on your thighs. Once you are in the lunge position push back up through your heels to starting position. Repeat on other side alternating for 20 seconds.
Begin in a lunge position with your right leg forward. Jump up and switch legs in the air so you land in a lunge position with your left leg in front. Continue alternating for 20 seconds. Alternate right and left leg forward for 20 seconds. Beginners should hold the position for 3 seconds before switching legs. As you progress you can increase the speed of the jumps. It is always better to go slow with proper form, than to perform the exercises quickly with poor form.
Push your hips back and lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor, like you are sitting back in a chair, or as low as your flexibility allows. Keep your back straight and your chest up. In the low position engage your core, squeeze your glutes and push back up to standing with your weight on your heels. Repeat for 20 seconds.
Start by lowering into a squat position. From the low position engage your core and jump up. Land softly in the low squat position. Beginners should hold the low position for 3 seconds before repeating the jump. Repeat for 20 seconds.
I recommend low-impact workout days surrounding your plyometric days to allow your body time to sufficiently rest and recover. Since running is also a high impact activity, I recommend no more than one or two plyometric workouts per week. Do you incorporate plyometrics into your training? Give this quick workout a try and let me know what you think!