Plyometrics

Plyometrics are an excellent way to develop strength and coordination, and add some speed to your run without doing the same old boring running intervals.

The definition of a plyometric is an exercise that involves an eccentric muscle contraction (contract and lengthen) followed by a concentric muscle contraction (contract and shorten). In other words, most involve jumping motions of some sort.

A simple plyometric is jumping rope. A more advanced plyometric is a box jump (from the ground jump up 12 to 18 inches to the top of a box, and then back down).

Plyos are demanding and tough on the body, and you should build into a plyometric routine slowly. Start with a simpler routine like this:

The first time you do this you might do it just once or twice through. Once you are comfortable with a routine like this, include more repetitions (10 reps instead of 5 times) or repeat the series more times (4x through instead of 1 or 2x).

A more advanced routine could be:

Before starting any plyometric routine, you should consult with a strength coach or your trainer to ensure the routine is designed according to your ability and needs. These are tough and you'll be sore after, but they are a great way to help build strength and avoid injury.