Track (Video): Plyometrics Before Every Repetition Improves Sprint Speed

Track (Video): Plyometrics Before Every Repetition Improves Sprint Speed

Dick Moss, Editor, Physical Education

Studies have shown that plyometric exercises such as hopping and bounding, when performed during warmups, increase muscle activation and improve the efficiency of the neuromuscular system. This activation allows for greater recruitment of the involved muscles and faster speed of movement.

The result is an improved ability to sprint and even to run middle and long distances. Other explosive activities, such as jumping, also improve.

However, in real life, there's a problem when plyometrics are performed during warmup. By the time the actual sprinting takes place, often minutes later, some of the activation has worn off. Fortunately, there's an easy solution.

Perform Plyos Throughout the Workout
The solution to this problem is to perform plyos during the workout, immediately before every sprint repetition.

For example, if your workout includes 3 sets of 3 x 60m sprints, you could have your sprinters hop six hurdles immediately before every sprint. As soon as they finish hopping, they get to the start line and perform their sprint. By the time the workout is done, they'll have completed nine quality sprints and 54 plyometric hops or bounds.

The result will be better times in practice, which translates into better times in competition.

To see a demonstration of plyometrics being performed before workout sprints, watch the video below:

1. Martyn Matthews, Helen Matthews, & Ben Snook, "The Acute Effects Of A Resistance Training Warmup On Sprint Performance, Research In Sports Medicine 12: 151--159, 2004.
2. Branko Skof And Vojko Strojnik (Laboratory For Biomechanics, University Of Ljubljana, Faculty Of Sport, Ljubljana, Slovenia), "The Effect Of Two Warm-Up Protocols On Some Biomechanical Parameters Of The Neuromuscular System Of Middle Distance Runners." Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research, 2007, 21(2), 394-399.
3. Warren Young, Neural activation and performance in power events. Modern Athlete & Coach 30(1): 29-31, 1992.

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