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Monday, September 2, 2013

Air Time!

When I say 'jump'.......

I was supposed to complete part 2 of 'BUT I DON'T FEEL IT' but a client posted a interesting article that discussed the current research on runners and why they should include strength training and plyometerics in their training regiment. I want to comment on that article and thank 'DA' for her support of what we been teaching all along about strength training/plyos' for runners. The article was published in Runners World .

Plyometerics comes in several forms. Some may surprise you:
  • Walking
  • Sprinting
  • jump roping
  • hurdle jumping
  • jumping/hoping on one leg
  • jumping in place 
  • jumping over or on obstacles ie. hurdles or box
  • Combo plyos' using multi planar jumping techniques [advanced]
  • ...just to name a few
Plyometeric Benefits:
  • improve muscle speed reflex
  • Improve joint mobility
  • Great anaerobic conditioning modality
  • Increase ligament and tendon integrity
  • Improve stride frequency/turnover which increases speed
  • ....Just to name a few

I have strongly advocated plyos'  and strength training as an important exercise modality or ALL runners for the past 26 years. The challenge was to teach the runner that JUST running was not sufficient to improve leg power and reduce injuries. Ironically, I submitted an article to Runners World back in the late 80's early 90's on the same topic, but I was rejected. The rejection letter said in part that 'this' [plyo] is not what our readers are interested in!. It included hill running techniques too. They scoffed. 

The take away is that all athletes should use 'some' form of plyometerics. Since running is a form of plyometeric(least complex form) it would be wise to make room for it on your running log!

*Plyometerics can be dangerous if not calibrated properly for your particular lower body mechanics. There are possible underlying structural weaknesses you may not be aware of. These weaknesses can manifest on landings. BE CAUTIOUS. This is an exercise modality that can get overused and improperly executed. Seek professional instruction.

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