Plyometrics for Runners
Do you do plyometrics? I’m sure you’ve seen the infomercials for P90X and Insanity. Those workouts are largely based on plyometrics. Cross Fit also relies heavily on plyometrics. We have all done some form of plyometrtics in our life. Kids do them and don’t even realize it (skipping, hopping, jumping). Why should we stop as adults?
Plyometrics are simple actions such as hopping and jumping that are designed to increase your speed and strength. These movements teach proprioceptors, which are sensors in our body that detect subtle changes in movement, position, tension, and force, to push off the ground with greater force. Plyometric training will put more spring in every step you take, which is the key to better running.
The great thing about plyometrics is that they don’t have to take up too much time. A few simple exercises that take less than 10 minutes to complete are all you need to see results. Make sure you do a proper 5-10 minute warm up jog before you attempt any plyometric moves. Plyometrics are meant to be explosive moves so put all that you can into the moves. I’ve been trying to incorporate more plyometrics to my running rotation. I do have weaker ankles so I am always nervous about coming down wrong and twisting one. It seems like I spent every other week in high school and college with a sprained ankle. I try to do these exercises on a relatively smooth area. If it’s in the grass, look out for holes, rocks, acorns, etc. Anything that can cause an injury if landed on wrong. Enjoy yourself and act like a kid again!
1. Jump ups – The name says it all – jump as high as you can straight up and down with slight bend in your knees. Perform this 10-15 times as fast as you can while maintaining good form.
2. Skipping – Find your inner child! Skip for 30-40 yards. Propel your body up and swing your arms wide. Rest. Repeat 4 times. Increase distance as tolerated.
3. Hop – Standing straight, hop forward 10 yards with both feet together. Really exaggerate your arm movements pushing behind you as you hop forward. Repeat 5 times. Rest. Repeat sequence 4 times.
It’s that time of the month again. Time to review my goals for the year to see where I’m at. I’ve made some progress!
Goals for 2012 – Month 2 Update
My goals for 2012:
- Run 2 half marathons or 1 full – Signed up for 1 half marathon!
- Yoga 2-3 x/week – 1x/week actual class. I’ve been doing random postures at night while watching tv.
- Strength training 3x/week –Still at 2x/week unless you count yoga.
- Try at least 2 new forms of exercise(cross fit, aerial yoga, etc) – Done and done! Aerial Yoga and Barre.
- Read at least 1 book a month – Started and finished Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong. GREAT book!
- At least 1 “fun” vacation – Still in planning stages.
- Continue to pursue freelance writing and blog – In progress!
- Actually print photos each month rather than every 6 months! – Done!
- Convince Cooper that I still love him and he still loves me so we can walk and run together again. – Fail! I’ve been horrible about taking Cooper out for walks. Sorry buddy!
Questions of the day:
1. Do you do plyometrics? If so have you noticed a difference in your running or other sports?
2. Are you participating in the Leap Day One Day Run?
3. How are you doing on your 2012 goals?