If you've been trying to lose weight or increase your running speed and have hit a plateau, then give plyometrics a go!
Fig. - Runnersworld.com
Plyometrics is a type of explosive training that involves exercises that enable a muscle to reach maximum force in the shortest possible time.
Add these exercises to your running routine to help improve your leg muscle's power and explosiveness. Studies have shown that these jumping drills can lead to an improvement as great as 8%. That's 96 seconds off a 20 minute 5k!(1)
1. Bounding for Distance - Pretend there are tires on the ground a few feet apart; your goal is to land in the center as you spring forward with each stride. There should be a feeling of floating in the air between each bound. Go for about 30 yards.
2. High-Knee Carioca - Step sideways with your left leg, behind with your right, side-step with the left, then step in front with the right, raising your knee to your waist. Repeat for 30 yards, then switch sides.
3. Single-Leg Hop - Jump forward, aiming for distance, five or six times on one leg. Switch to the other leg. Variation: Do them for height.
4. Skipping - Explode off the ground, skipping as high as possible and minimizing time on the ground. Keep your thigh parallel with the ground. Skip for about 30 yards.
5. Double-Leg Hop - Jump six to eight times in a row, trying to get as much height as possible. Jumps should be consecutive, without rest between each one. Variation: Do them for distance instead of height. (1)
These are just some basic plyometric drills you can add to your routine to help peak performance. For some additional (and higher level) exercises visit...
1. Keystone, Ed; The Fast Lane - Training Advice for Peak Performers.http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238---12559-0,00.html