Plyometrics: what, why and how

Published 9th September 2021 by mymo

Between running, training, cross training, strength work and everything else, you may not have time to even consider adding anything else to your working and running week. But for many, the introduction of plyometrics to routine can be a great addition. Plyometrics can make you stronger and more powerful in a completely different way, helping you to run longer and faster. Here’s our quick guide to what it’s all about!

What is Plyometric training?

Plyometrics are exercises often done in sets, repetitions (reps) or for set times to build power and strength. ‘Plyo’ is often used by athletes who run, jump or throw. Plyometric exercises include hopping, jumping, bounding, skipping and combinations of these exercises in short workouts. They are done in short bursts to generate fast powerful moves. An example of a plyometric workout may be three sets of six jumps off a box or on to a step, 30 seconds of skipping and 20 seconds of side to side hopping. There are stacks of great ideas on the internet for plyometric workouts that don’t require any equipment so build a workout to suit you and your time budget! There’s a good example of a Plyo workout specifically for hill training via Polar that may give you some inspiration here. 

Why should I do it?

Plyometric training is a great all-round exercise that trains, tones and strengthens your legs, glutes and core. It can also give you more power when jumping, turning and twisting and may be a welcome addition to off-road runners. Strengthening the body in this way can allow you to run faster and more efficiently and is a great way of “switching on” your muscles. 

How can I fit it into my training? 

We like to add plyo work to the end of a gym session or lower body workout, but it works just as well as a standalone session. Building up from jumping off or on a step to hopping, bounding and box jumping takes time and is best done over the course of weeks to prevent injury, so take time to make progress. You don’t need a lot of equipment to get started with plyometrics, but we like the UK made Fitt Box as a great multi-use exercise box which looks sleek, stylish and simple too! 

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