Plyometrics key to stronger, faster runs

Husband completed Tony Horton’s P90X, a 90-day workout program by Beachbody, the year before we got married. P90X was a good program for him, and it worked, but he didn’t enjoy every workout.

His least favorite day of the week was Plyo Day. During my Insanity sessions, I absolutely hated Plyo Day. (Well, I hated every day.)

Plyometrics are drills designed to increase muscular power. For example, “burpees” are plyometric moves that emphasize exploding from a static position. workouts add push-ups to their burpees:


I may hate them, but plyometric drills are a key component to stronger, faster and longer runs.

Olympic runner Adam Tenforde told Runner’s World that plyometric drills were key to why his running times decreased.

“Plyo is a big part of why my times have come down so far,” says Tenforde, “and it has also improved my closing speed, flexibility, and injury resistance.”

I want to be a better runner so I will add at least three moves to my workout that I generally avoid.

  • Vertical jumps
  • Split jumps
  • Ankle hops (We called these “Ankle Pops” in Shocker Fitness.)
  • (Or, you can try Irish Dancing. I hear it works better if you do it wrong.)

Vertical jumps and split jumps were moves used in Insanity as well as squat jumps (a.k.a. The Most Awful Exercise Ever). P90X featured spinning jumping squats, which I highly enjoyed watching my husband do in our tiny living room.

Oh, plyo. Here I go!