Plyometric and Explosive Training 

If you have been following our At Home Gym Series, you would have built a good base of strength in your legs and core and spent some time improving your range of motion, which means you are now ready to take on improving your explosiveness through plyometric and power training. I like to sum up power as force*speed. Building strength through this series means you now have greater force – force is velocity specific and most strength work is too slow to be specific to running or cycling, so now we’re working on producing force fast! The best way to do this is movements that involve jumping.

Training for power in cycling and running is a little different, the key difference being that running involves a stretch shortening cycle, where energy is stored in muscles and tendons during the eccentric phase of your stride (the part where your foot hits the ground and you absorb that impact) and then released in the concentric phase, where you press off of the ground. Cycling on the other hand has no stretch shortening cycle because there’s no eccentric load. This means, for running, we’ll focus on developing this stretch shortening cycle, making each stride springier. For cycling, we’ll ignore using the stretch shortening cycle during these movements and instead focus on being explosive during the concentric phase only, using no stored energy.

 

What You Need

  • A plyo-box or sturdy table, 12-30 inches tall
  • A chair

Ready!? LET’S GO!

 

The Workout:

  • For all exercises but the Bunny Hops, start with doing 3 sets of 8 repetitions
  • The focus is on being explosive, so if you slow down or are getting tired, end the set early. This is about quality reps more than it is about quantity.
  • For the Bunny Hops, start with 3 sets of 20 seconds.
  • For the Step-ups, do 4 reps on one leg and then 4 reps on the other, per set.
  • Rest a full 2 minutes between sets so you can fully recover for the next set.

For Runners

Bunny Hops:

Starting in a standing position, with feet at their natural width apart, and jump up and down, keeping your legs straight so you’re only using your calf muscles and Achilles tendons. It is important here to minimize ground contact, which means jumping back up as quickly as you can after landing. .

Squat Jumps:

Start standing with feet shoulder with apart and feet turned slightly out. Squat down and jump up as soon as you reach the bottom of your squat, land and repeat.

 

Depth Jumps:

Start standing with feet shoulder width apart and feet turned slightly out. Squat down and jump up as soon as you reach the bottom of your squat,Start standing on a short box of table. Step off with on leg, landing on both feet. Absorb the landing by coming into a high squat and then jump up and forward as quickly as you can.at.

 

For Cyclists

 

Seated Box Jumps:

Start seated in a chair, leaning forward slightly so you have weight on your feet and then jump up onto a box, landing on the box as lightly as possible, step down and reset. If you don’t have a box or table to jump onto, just jump as high as you can.

 

Step-Up Jumps:

Start with one foot on a short box or table. The proper height box will result in the angle of your upper to lower leg being 90 degrees or less. Step up with the leg on the box as fast as you can so you jump as your leg reaches full extension, land with the same foot and come back down to the starting position

 

Lunge Jumps:

Start in a lunge position. Jump up, using mostly the forward leg and land with the opposite foot forward.

 

Other Things to Keep in Mind:

 Each movement should be done with caution and in control. Do not continue if any discomfort or uncertainty with movements.  

Alright Runner and RiderBox Fam: Stay Inside. Stay Motivated. Stay Moving.

*This article is not a prescription for injury rehabilitation, if you have an injury seek the attention of a physical therapist. Perform these exercises at your own risk.

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