6 Power Exercises Help You Pick Up The Pace

No matter your goal, plyometrics should be part of your training arsenal.


Lauren Bedosky |

Explosive dynamic moves that incorporate jumping and bounding as well as quick changes in direction and speed help you develop the elastic tissue components needed to maximize efficiency and power. “When you do plyometrics, you are developing, stressing, and training your nervous system to efficiently perform a task, which will then translate into faster running,” says Andrew Long-Middleton, a personal trainer who works with runners. He recommends performing the following exercises twice a week after you’ve warmed up with some dynamic stretching. Switch up the order of the movements each time you do the routine.

Lateral Jumps

Image by Ryan Olszewski.
Image by Ryan Olszewski.

Lower slightly into a squat position and quickly jump to your left side, aiming to cover as much distance as possible. Land softly on your left foot and immediately jump to the right side. Continue until you cannot maintain speed or distance, or no longer than 20 seconds.

Next level: Hold a weight or tap the floor with the opposite hand.

180 Bounds

Image by Ryan Olszewski.
Image by Ryan Olszewski.

Lower slightly into a squat and jump forward while turning 180 degrees. Land in a half-squat and immediately explode upward, using the force of your legs and core to rotate your body another 180 degrees. Continue forward, trying to cover as much distance as possible with each bound. Stop when height or distance decreases, or no longer than 20 seconds.

Single-Leg Bounds

Image by Ryan Olszewski.
Image by Ryan Olszewski.

Stand on your right leg. Jump up, driving your left knee up. Use your arms to help propel you forward. Continue to jump forward, aiming to spend a very short time on the ground. Jump until you can’t maintain speed or distance, or no longer than 20 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.

Next level: Try the tripletuck jump: Do three single-leg bounds on one leg, then jump to bring that knee to your chest. Land softly, and immediately perform another series of three bounds on the same leg. Repeat on the other leg.

Depth Jump

Image by Ryan Olszewski.
Image by Ryan Olszewski.

Stand on a sturdy box, step, or bench. Jump down and immediately explode upward, jumping as high as possible. Walk back to starting position on the box. Repeat until your jump height shortens, or no longer than 20 seconds.

Next level: Slightly increase the height of your jump-off point.

Power Mountain Climbers

Image by Ryan Olszewski.
Image by Ryan Olszewski.

Assume a pushup position. Bracing your core, keep your upper body rigid while you alternate driving each knee forward as quickly as possible. Focus on keeping your core stable throughout the movement. Stop when speed decreases, or no longer than 20 seconds.

Max Vertical Jump

Image by Ryan Olszewski.
Image by Ryan Olszewski.

Stand tall. Brace your core and explode upward, jumping as high as possible. Land softly on the balls of your feet and immediately repeat. Stop when jump height shortens, or no longer than 20 seconds.

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