A word like plyometric could cause most new runners to flinch in pain, but they are not as complex as the name makes it sound, and are great for runners. But first, what exactly do plyometric exercises mean? To put it simply, they are dynamic, high-velocity exercises that build power, and force your muscles to lengthen and contract at top speeds, which makes them the most functional strength training exercises for runners.

Also, by building up the muscles’ ability to absorb impact, plyometrics take pressure off connecting tendons. Plus plyometric exercises help stabilize and align the knee joints upon impact, which reduces knee injuries.

If you do plyometric exercises, it takes less energy to run because explosive exercises enable the legs to function as a stiffer spring when the foot makes contact with the ground.

Single leg toe-touch
Stand on your right foot with your left leg extended out and arms out to your sides. Bend your right knee and reach forward to touch your right foot with your left hand. Straighten back up and jump up. That’s one side.

Jump Squats
With your feet turned out slightly and your arms extended out, lower down into a squat position until your butt is just lower than your knees. Jump up quickly, landing as softly as possible without letting your knees fall in toward each other.

Lunges are the easiest way to stretch your muscles after a run
Lunges are the easiest way to stretch your muscles after a run

Burpees
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Squat down and place your hands on the floor, and jump your feet back so that you’re in a plank. Do one push-up. Jump your feet back to your hands, and from this crouched position jump as high as you possibly can

Lunges
Lunge forward with your right foot, lowering down until your left knee almost touches the ground, and swinging your left arm forward. Explosively push up off the ground and switch legs midair, landing with your left leg forward. Repeat on the opposite side.

Now that we’ve turned you into a bouncy ball, we hope that you stick with these exercises and run faster than ever before, without any injuries!

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