When designing a plyometric workout, pick exercises that are running specific and focus on the posterior chain, particularly the glutes and hamstrings. Perform the following exercises 1 to 2 times per week.
Plyometric Protocol for Runners1 of 13
1. Get a proper warm-up in. Plyometrics are extremely demanding on the body. Jogging, jumping rope and dynamic stretching for 10 to 15 minutes will raise your core temp and get your body ready to go.
2. Never perform plyometric exercises to fatigue. Think about your form first and make every rep technically sound. Plyometrics can be dangerous when fatigue starts to set in. Give yourself enough rest in between sets and make sure you don't do too many reps.
3. Plyometric workouts should be separated from your running workouts. They are best performed alone or at the start of your strength-training workouts.
4. Build up to a plyometric program by making the exercises more challenging progressively. Do not be afraid to give your body a week off of these types of workouts.
5. Plyometrics can be tailored to anybody's ability; for example, simple adjustments such as the height of the stable surface you use to complete box jumps can be adjusted from two inches for beginners to two feet for experienced runners. Please take your fitness ability, age, and prior injuries into account when putting together a program.
Jump Rope2 of 13
Jump roping improves coordination, proper landing technique and cardio conditioning. Start by looking straight ahead with your head in a neutral position. As you jump, engage your abs and glutes. Stay light on your feet, and focus on landing on the middle parts of your feet. Complete 2 to 5 sets of jump roping for 15 seconds to 2 minutes.
Jump Lunges3 of 13
Get into a lunge position. Jump straight up as you drive your arms forward with your elbows bent. Land with one of your legs forward and the other leg behind you in a lunge. Repeat the movement.
Jump Lunges con't4 of 13
Jump straight, but this time switch legs in mid-air. Make sure you keep your posture upright (don't lean forward) and keep your knee over your foot when landing. Complete 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 16 reps.
Jump Squats5 of 13
Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Push your butt back and bend your knees. Jump straight up into the air.
Jump Squats con't6 of 13
Land softly on your feet with your knees bent. Do not allow your knees to cave in when landing. Complete 2 to 5 sets of 5 to 12 reps.
A Skips7 of 13
This is an exaggerated skipping movement. Lift and drive one knee forward while driving your opposite hand and arm forward.
A Skips con't8 of 13
Complete the same movement on the other leg. Keep your eyes on the horizon and chest up. Complete 3 to 4 sets, where you travel 10 to 30 meters per set.
B Skips9 of 13
Start in a similar position as the A Skips. Lift and drive your knee forward while fully extending that leg out. At the same time, lift and drive your opposite hand and arm forward.
B Skips con't10 of 13
The difference between A and B skips: you fully extend your active leg out in the B skip. Complete 3 to 4 sets, where you travel 10 to 30 meters per set.
Plyometric Push-Ups11 of 13
Place your hands on the ground about shoulder-width apart. Lower your body until your chest touches the floor.
Plyometric Push-Ups con't12 of 13
Forcefully push yourself up with upper body—your hands will leave the floor. Land back into the starting position and repeat the exercise. Complete 2 to 4 sets of 4 to 8 reps.