My 8 step PLYOMETRIC workout from Beginners to Advanced
I truly believe in the elastic component of sprinting, not only strength.
I used to SLJ over 10 feet and VJ over 29 inches. I was also very skinny as a kid, so I had good strength to body weight ratio. If you’re going to gain weight and muscle mass, make sure it’s weight that will actually help you!
My Best 8 Plyometric Exercises
- 4×10 running Hops for height, alternate legs
- 3 x 10 single hurdle hops over small cones, spaced 1m apart or less
- 1-3 sets x 10 bounding, easy run in, or standing start:
Alternate Leg Bounding
Left-Left, Right-Right Bounding
Left-Left-Left, Right-Right-Right Bounding
Left Leg Bounding
Right Leg Bounding
- Bounding testing:
5 bounds for distance, 10m run in
10 bounds for distance, standing start (Will Claye 31m/34y)
- Standing Jumps:
Standing LJ (land to pit)
Standing Triple jump (land to pit, or soft wet grass)
Frog Jumps – 5 jumps
Depth jumps, off box or platform
Box jumps for height
Test for Vertical Jump (optional)
- Hurdle Hops (if you have hurdles)
- Stadium stairs (if you have stadium)
My Typical Training Program
Remember I’m a M55 Masters sprinter with a history of injuries! I so wish I could more, a lot more!
for Plyos, all i’m doing is:
4×10 running hops for height
4×12 low cones – single leg hops
4×10 10 bounds for distance, from standing
4×10 5 bounds for distance, from running start
on GYM days, I’ll do:
2×6 box jumps up (various heights)
2×6 depth jumps down (various heights)
(will adjust volume over time)
The Top 3 Articles for Further Reading:
– Trey Hardee Hurdle Hops – and Why you Should do Plyometrics
– Coaching Strategies For Barrier Heights During Plyometrics
– Speed Bounding and Plyometrics
My Top 15 Tips – General & Preparation:
1. Wait until all the injuries are healed before beginning a plyometric program.
2. Do not confuse plyometrics with regular strength training. Balance the two, depending on the season and the loads according to the annual plan.
3. Introduce Olympic weight lifting first, especially power cleans from the ground. It is important that they acquire proper proprioception and co-ordination with the correct lumbar-pelvic rhythm, especially the knees, lower back and hips.
4. Start with depth jumps from the ground, then exploding upwards. If a sand pit is available, try the standing long jump, which is a common test for children to test for power, explosiveness and elasticity. The current world record is 12 feet 4 inches by a shot putter, not a sprinter of jumper.
5. Count the number of foot contacts per session, and perform the exercises on a grass surface to minimize wear and tear on the legs.
6. Quality not quantity is key for developing explosive strength. I always remind my high jumpers “Ultimately, you want to jump 7 feet once. Not 7 one-foot jumps”
My Top 15 Tips – Volume:
NOTE: the volume MUST be tailored to each individual athlete.
7. A general guideline for each exercise is executed in sets of 10 repetitions, with 1-5 minutes of rest between sets
8. In general, you can do plyometrics 2 or 3 times a week, preferable at the end of practice. If you have a split session, make sure you have a few hours before each session.
9. The optimal dosage of depth jumps with an intense vertical or horizontal take-off in one training session should not exceed 4 sets of 10 jumps for well conditioned athletes and 2-3 sets of 5-8 jumps for lesser-conditioned athletes. Easy running and relaxation exercises for a period of 10-15 minutes should be done between sets
10. Depth jumps uses the central nervous system heavily. Therefore, they should be used not less than 3-4 days before a technique session. You can do some light strength work after a plyometric session.
11. During the competition period they should be included once every 10-14 days, but no later than 10 days before a competition.
My Top 15 Tips – Technique:
12. Unlike weight lifting where you exhale on the concentric contraction (the force), your breath should be held and never released during the contact phase or landing phases where maximal effort is produced.
13. When doing depth jumping off boxes, remember to be relaxed when stepping off the box, not jumping off the box.
14. You should land on the balls of your feet, as the heel should not slam to the ground by momentum. This indicates the force (or the hight of the box) is too great.
15. Head posture and your “line of sight” direction play important roles in controlling all aspects of depth jumping. Pointing your head downward to look at the ground before take-off may result in an untimed muscle contraction or misaligned timing. Also, if the head is not thrust upwards during the take-off, maximal height will not be reached. Treat your body as a whole, and not just your legs to do the the work.
I think there’s enough evidence that strength training, whether in a form of free weights or plyometrics, will help improve an athlete, especially the acceleration phase.