Are you looking for exercises that will improve your power, endurance, and running economy. As a Strength & Conditioning Coach and Physio, I encourage plyometric training not only for competitive athletes, but for anyone looking at improving their overall fitness and athleticism.
What are Plyometrics?
Plyometrics include any exercise that involves rapid stretching and shortening of our muscles. Different plyometric activities will target different athletic qualities, and can range from low amplitude movements such as jogging, skipping, and pogo jumps, to higher amplitude activities such as broad jumps or drop jumps.
Examples of Plyometric Exercises:
As mentioned above, there are a number of different plyometrics that can target different athletic qualities. If you haven’t done a lot of plyometric exercises before, low amplitude activities should be done first, in conjunction with strength training. Some of these exercises include pogo jumps on the spot, light jogging, or skipping. Because of it’s number of benefits, I will go into further detail on utilising skipping for plyometric development.
Skipping – A Great Intro to Plyometrics:
Skipping is a plyometric exercise that can easily be utilised to great effect. A study by Garcia-Pinillos et al., 2020, showed that incorporating skipping 4 times a week for 5 minutes each time within a warm-up improved foot arch stiffness, counter movement jumps, squat jumps, reactive strength, running efficiency and it improved runners 3km running time! All you need to do is follow this protocol for a minimum of 8 weeks!
To spice things up, you can also go beyond standard skipping within this 5-minute period, and make it multi directional and more dynamic, so it is more specific to your sport. At the end of the day, you get more bang for your buck by training hops and jumps in all directions to condition your body better for the rigors of sport, but also to improve your fitness, coordination, and agility.
Benefits of Plyometric Training:
Regular plyometric training can help improve our running quality, speed, jump height, power, ability to change direction, and can help reduce our risk of injuries if programmed correctly.
I often find that my patients/clients go straight to the fancy difficult stuff when training for power, and incorporating plyometrics into their program. Meanwhile, they haven’t skipped since they were a little kid!
Plyometrics are demanding, and we often haven’t built our foundational strength, or worked on the basic forms of plyometrics yet before going onto advanced training modalities. This will only increase our risk of injury in the long run.
If you are looking to incorporate power/plyometric training into your rehab or routine, contact us today to find out more!