Plyometric Exercises for Speed: 7 Moves to Help You Run Faster
Running is a great way to stay fit overall. It helps with increasing your stamina and works great on strengthening your core muscles. No matter why you started to run in the first place, there is always room for improvement.
If you are looking to run faster and beat your friends on Strava, consider plyometric workout for speed. Here are the 7 best plyometric exercises that will improve your running. These advanced plyometric exercises are easy to do and highly effective for your overall health.
The Best Plyometric Exercises for Speed
Although there are several plyometric exercises that specifically improve running speed, some are more effective than others. Here is how to run faster:
1. Depth Jump
The first ever plyometric exercise was the depth jump which involves jumping. You will need a raised platform from where you can jump to the ground and land on your feet. This simple exercise improves the height of your vertical jump, which ultimately targets the speed of your sprint.
The depth jump also helps in improving balance and coordination. Being a simple exercise, it costs nothing to do the depth jump properly everyday. Simply use the stairs in your home or a bench and get on top. Make sure you have enough space to get in and out of it.
The trick here is to ensure that both your feet leave the raised platform at once and land on the ground together. Do not try and jump higher because it is not required for this exercise. Start with a raised platform of little height and gradually increase the height, as you get more comfortable.
2. Tuck Jump
The tuck jump exercise effectively improves running speed. It is another basic plyometric exercise and does not require any equipment. It only requires you to jump high and bring your knees up to your chest while you are in the air.
The better your jumping ability, the better your speed will become all the while improving your sprinting skills. This exercise does just that – develops power in your legs that contributes directly to your speed. Professionals usually perform tuck jumps when they are short on time. Here is how to do it properly:
Stand straight and your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
Jump high into the air and bring your knees up to the level of your chest.
Carefully land back on the ground with both feet flat on the surface and jump again.
Pro tip: pull your abdominal muscles so you can jump as high as possible.
3. Jump Squat
This is a more advanced plyometric exercise but highly effective for improving running speed. As the name suggests, you need to sit on the ground in a deep squatting position and then jump up high into the air.
The muscle groups responsible for running, like the quads, glutes, and hamstrings are strengthen in the squat jump. As a result, your sprinting speed dramatically improves and you develop power in your leg muscles.
Since this is a more complicated plyometric exercise, it is only wise to begin with, a lower weight and gradually increase as you become familiar with the movement. Here is how to do the jump squat:
Stand firmly with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Squat down to a deep position.
Jump as high as you can in the air.
Gently land back on your feet and continue going down into the squat position.
Again, keep your abdominal muscles pulled so you can jump higher.
Try to control the muscles you use as you land because this can help you absorb the impact. The more you are able to control, the safer you are from risking injury.
4. Box Jumps
Another great plyometric exercise to improve your running speed is the box jumps. This exercise is also simple and will require you to jump on a raised box. You will then jump off the box to complete the exercise.
This exercise will target your glutes, hamstrings and quads, which in turn will improve your sprinting speed. These muscle groups work when you run and the stronger they are, the faster and longer you can run.
Since this jump is more complicated so consider using a lighter weight until you are comfortable with the exercise. Here is how to perform the box jump:
Stand on a raised platform or a box.
Jump once onto the box and then jump off the box.
Be careful when landing on the ground and use both feet to land comfortably.
Keep your abdominal muscles tight as it allows you to jump higher.
When getting on and off the box, make sure to coordinate your feet and avoid the risk of injury.
5. Plyometric Push-Ups
Contrary to the traditional plyometric exercises and push-ups, this combination targets the upper body muscles and improves running speed. Upper body strength is important, as running requires the core muscles to act. Therefore, the stronger your core muscles are, the stronger will be your stamina and you will be able to run faster.
Here is how to do these push-ups:
Get into the traditional push-up position.
Do a push-up and when your arms are extended push yourself explosively.
You need to push yourself with enough force that your hands shortly leave the ground.
Ensure that your back is straight and maintain a straight line from head to toes.
Ideal for advanced-level runners, this exercise is not an easy one. But with practice, anyone can do it!
6. Bosu Ball Burpees
Ever seen that half-sphere made of rubber or plastic at the gym? That is a Bosu ball and when combined with burpees, it makes a great plyometric exercise. If you want to improve speed while also improving your overall health, this exercise is great.
Bosu ball burpees will also improve your cardiovascular endurance and here is how you can do it:
Begin with standing with your Bosu ball in your hands.
As you squat down, bring the ball along and place it on the ground.
Jump high into the air and carry it above your head as you jump.
Come back down into a deep squat position and place your ball on the ground.
Continue the same steps several times.
When performing burpees, it is essential that you stay in form. Handle the bosu ball well and not let it fall over your head. Only do this when you feel comfortable performing burpees with weights.
7. Jump Rope
You have been doing it since you were a kid and still enjoy it from time to time. If you want to improve your running speed, get back into rope jumping and you will see its effects pretty soon. Rope jump greatly improves your cardiovascular fitness and increased stamina and endurance.
The most effective thing about jump rope is that it increases coordination and speed. Moreover, it will make your muscles more agile and you will feel stronger. Invest in a high-quality jump rope and bring your childhood memories back to the present. You will see how your running speed greatly improves!
The purpose of plyometric training is to improve your running speed and time. The exercises are easy to perform and you will notice a difference the next time you go for a run! The secret behind any exercise to be effective is consistency. Make sure you stay consistent and do these exercises regularly.