Leap into a world of power and speed
By Pete Estabrooks
Plyometric is a scientific, 21st-century term bandied about by trainers, therapists and coaches alike. Want speed? Do your plyos. This is all well and good if you are in the club and know the lingo.
However, throwing together a plyometric workout on your own without a kinesiology background is like picking your house paint wearing sunglasses. You might get the right idea, but you’ll probably miss out on the detail.
Luckily if you have neither a coach, nor trainer in your corner, we have a starter plyometric kit for your running benefit this season. Plyometric defines an exercise in which muscles are repeatedly and rapidly stretched then contracted. An easy example is the act of quickly lowering into a squat then immediately leaping into the air. This physical action of loading and contracting a muscle in a short burst increases the ability of those muscles to create explosive movements.
Having the ability to harness the power these explosive movements provide can decrease the amount of time your feet stay in contact with the ground every foot-strike. These actions increase your running efficiency and decrease the time it takes you to complete a run.
Prior to starting a plyometric program, remember the first rule of runners is that runners run. A solid structural running base is necessary before throwing these cool tricks into the mix. Plyometric training, core and weight training are adjuncts to a solid running practice. Once a week in addition to your running program is plenty.
The Plyometrics 1, 2, 3 workout
1. High Knees Skipping
3A. Box Jumps
3B. Squat Jumps
3C. Stride Jumps
The Fitness Guy Pete Estabrooks is IMPACT Magazine’s Fitness Editor and a top personal trainer in Calgary.