Want to Run Faster? Try These 7 Plyometrics Moves | fitbit.com

30 Apr

Plyometrics

Source: Want to Run Faster? Try These 7 Plyometrics Moves | fitbit.com

Whether you’re just getting into running, preparing for your first 5K, or attempting a full marathon, you might be wondering how you can get a little faster on your feet. One way: Add plyometrics to your training.

Plyometrics, which are movements where you jump explosively and spend as little time on the ground as possible, have been found to improverunning speed and efficiency. “When you run, you need to produce force against the ground as quickly as possible,” says Jason Karp, PhD, a running coach and owner of Run-Fit. “Plyometrics improve your muscle’s ability to produce force quickly.”

What makes plyometrics so unique is their ability to target two kinds of muscle movements: shortening and lengthening. “When you do quick movements where you jump, land, and jump again, your muscles are being asked to lengthen quickly, then shorten quickly, and then lengthen again,” he says. “This combination actually produces more force than if you just did a shortening move or a lengthening move alone.”

Plyometrics can be pretty intense, so Karp recommends starting with some basic movements and building on them each week.

Six-Week Plyometric Exercise Routine for Runners

These moves all target your glutes, quads, calves, and core. Try to spend as little time on the ground as possible between jumps. Do the routine twice each week in addition to any running you’re doing.

WEEK 1

Single-Leg Hops

Plyometrics: single-leg hopsStand on left leg. Hop 10 times, then hop forward and back 10 times, then hop side to side (shown here) 10 times. Repeat on right leg, rest, then do one more set.

Step-Up Hops

Plyometrics: stair hopsStand on your left leg in front of a step or small platform. Hop up onto the step and walk down. Stand on right leg and do the same. Repeat 10 times on each leg. Rest, then do one more set.

WEEK 2

Same two movements as Week 1.

WEEK 3

Same two movements as Week 2, plus:

Double Leg Bound

Plyometrics: Double-leg boundStart in a squat position, then jump forward with both legs as far as you can. Repeat 10 times. Rest, then do one more set.

Alternate Leg Bound

This move looks like an exaggerated running motion, but you’re bounding forward as far as you can from one leg to the other (not pictured; it will look like a combination of running and jumping). Repeat 10 times on each leg. Rest, then do one more set.

WEEK 4

Same four movements as Week 3, plus:

Squat Jumps

Plyometrics: Squat jumpsWith hands on hips the entire time, squat down, then jump straight up as high as you can. When you land, lower back down into a squat position smoothly, then immediately jump again. Repeat 10 times. Rest, then do one more set.

WEEK 5

Same five movements as Week 4, plus:

Depth Jumps

Plyometrics: Depth JumpsStand on a one-foot tall box. Jump onto the ground with both feet and land in a squat. then jump straight up as high as you can. Step up onto box, repeat 10 times. Rest, then do one more set.

Box Jumps

From the ground, jump up with both feet onto a box about a foot high, then immediately jump back down to the ground. Do 10 reps. Rest, then do one more set.

WEEK 6
Same seven movements as Week 5.

 

Source: Want to Run Faster? Try These 7 Plyometrics Moves | fitbit.com

It’s Time for Women to “Buy Into” Strength Training – trainermegj

24 Apr

It’s Time for Women to “Buy Into” Strength Training

In case you missed it on Tony Gentilcore’s site , here is my latest article:

Houston, we have a problem.

Most women understand the importance of strength-training, but there is still a full-blown phobia of the weight room floor.

In case you missed it, strength-training

  • Builds muscles,
  • Increases or maintains bone density,
  • Boosts mood by relieving stress and building confidence,
  • Helps fight against chronic disease and
  • Exponentially increases your awesomeness.

 

So what’s the hold-up?

This video might offer some clues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1GUQVo1Lps

Even though most women know they should be lifting, a number of factors inhibit the urge to actually cross over the threshold of the weight-room floor—which isn’t just disappointing, but bad for their health.

So how can we convince women to buy in to the idea of committing to the iron jungle?

John Kotter and Lorne Whitehead have a tremendous book, “Buy-In: Saving Your Good Idea From Getting Shot Down,” about the concept of getting others to buy into an idea. Kotter and Whitehead provide four reasons why a magnificent idea (see: strength-training) gets shut down:

  • Death by delay
  • Fear-mongering
  • Confusion
  • Character assassination

Let’s look at how these issues are often at play in women’s heads when it comes to strength-training.

 

Death by Delay:  We are great at finding a good reason to put off obligations… until Monday/after exams/once we get past the holidays. This can be a never-ending cycle,  Because a “good time” is never going to knock on the door and offer us Girl Scout cookies. The good news is that we can create “a good time.”

The more we put off strength-training, the more our muscles, hormones and mind-set get stuck in the same old comfy rut. It doesn’t get easier. On top of that, women reach our peak bone mass in our 30s, which means fighting an uphill against osteoporosis going forward.

Don’t delay. The time to start is now.

Fear-mongering:There can be a lot of fear when starting to lift weights.  Fear of the unknown or looking like you have no idea what you are doing is something I often hear from clients, and that’s something that gets its own section, below.

In the meantime, we also might have a lingering fear of being watched or judged by others. I understand, but really, most people are either too focused on themselves to notice you or are praying you won’t take the piece of equipment they want to use.  But to be safe, here is a list ofgym etiquette rules.

If someone if making your feel uncomfortable, please alert the gym staff and they will handle it… because that’s not cool.  The gym setting shouldn’t be unlike any other public setting.  Think of the grocery store. Yes, there is a chance someone is looking at you and your cart, but so what? You need food and you need the benefits from strength-training.

Fear of other’s sweat and grossness? Valid. But most gyms have antibacterial spray and paper towels  everywhere —which is better than most public settings. Just sayin’.

Confusion:  Back to the fear of not knowing what to do. I highly recommend hiring a personal trainer, even for a couple sessions, to show you the ropes. Some gyms even offer a complimentary training session or orientation to the facility. The money you invest in your health early on will save you from doctor’s bills in the future, so it’s a positive return on your investment. If working with a trainer isn’t possible, here are some basic moves I put together to get started

Character Assassination: This one is a heart-breaker, but I’ve seen it too many times before. It’s when women doubt themselves and their ability to reach their goals despite previous accomplishments or even before making any attempt. You might not believe you can be successful and that you don’t deserve to be on the weight-room floor. Well, consider this your personal invitation… because you do have a place among the bars, bells and cables.

Need more of boost? Again, I recommend a session or two with a trainer to affirm that you are capable of being “Queen of the Iron Throne.”Aside from that, tap into the power of  friends, family, social media or Beyoncé to encourage you to slay. It is essential to be your own cheerleader, rather than your enemy.

 

With all the benefits of strength-training, it’s time to quit talking yourself out of this wonderful process. Address your concerns and excuses, then move on. You’ll be glad you bought into this idea.

P.S. To crush any lingering concerns: You won’t bulk up, unless you’ve been blessed with the genetics of Xena Warrior Princess.

 

Source:

Buy-in Saving Your Good Idea From Getting Shot Down

John P. Kotter – Lorne A. Whitehead – Harvard Business Review Press – 2010

 



Source: It’s Time for Women to “Buy Into” Strength Training – trainermegj

6 Plyometrics Exercises for a Quick Total-Body Workout

24 Apr

6 Plyometrics Exercises for a Better Workout in Less Time


6 Plyometrics Exercises for a Better Workout in Less Time

Photo: Pond5

Plyometrics — or high-intensity exercises that stretch and then quickly shorten your muscles (think jump squats or plyo push-ups) — are already known for their quick calorie-blasting, body-toning results. “The technique was originally designed to develop explosive speed and power in Olympic athletes, but the benefits extend out to the average Joe and Jane in both body and mind,” says Adam Rosante, NYC-based trainer and creator of the popular bodyweight interval workout WaveShape.

“The intensity of firing up your big muscle groups with such speed sends your heart rate through the roof and burns a ton of fat.” Plus, Rosante explains, when your brain is forced to process the mechanical speed required of plyo moves, it has the potential to improve overall cognitive function.

But there’s better news yet: There may be an even more efficient way to do this powerhouse type of workout.

Plyometrics Exercises: The Power of Cluster Sets

Though many people stick to the standard two or three sets of 10 to 15 reps, flipping that format on its head might actually improve your performance, according to a new study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Exercisers who did cluster sets — 10 sets of shorter reps ranging from only two to five — were able to jump higher and reach greater takeoff velocity during their workout, which could result in more explosive power.

The sweet spot is sets of three to five reps, found Lee E. Brown, Ph.D., study coauthor and director of the Center for Sport Performance at California State University in Fullerton. Do fewer than that and you can’t maximize the eccentric (or muscle-lengthening) phase of the movement, which will lessen your velocity. Go for more than five and you’ll get too fatigued to maintain your max jump height. It’s important to note that ample rest is also key to helping you reach maximum power and jump height throughout every rep, says Brown. Aiming for 30 to 45 seconds between sets allows you to start each set feeling fresh.

Want to know what cluster sets feel like? We had Rosante design the following plan, a mix of moves to tone your entire body and rev your heart rate in no time. Do 10 sets of three to five reps of each move — using momentum from the previous rep to drive speed and power — and rest 30 seconds between sets.

Your Quick Plyometrics Workout in 6 Moves

6 Plyometrics Exercises for a Quick Total-Body Workout

Photo: Twenty20

1. Plank Squats

How to: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and begin to lower the body, keeping your weight in your heels as if you’re sitting back into a chair, until thighs are parallel or close to parallel with the floor (a). In one fast motion, drop the hands to the floor and jump your feet back to a plank position, making sure the body remains in a straight line from head to toe (b). Immediately jump your feet back to the squat position to complete one rep (c).

2. Plyometric Push-Ups

How to: Start in a plank position with wrists directly under the shoulders, body in a straight line from head to toe (a). Lower your chest to the floor and then push up explosively with enough force for your hands to leave the floor for a second, and then land softly (b).

3. Broad Jumps

How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart and begin to lower the body, keeping your weight in your heels as if you’re sitting back into a chair, stopping just before your thighs are parallel with the floor (a). Jump up as high as you can and forward, and focus on landing softly on your feet (b). Immediately return to the quarter-squat position and repeat (c).

4. X-Overs

How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and begin to lower your body, keeping your weight in your heels as if you’re sitting back into a chair until thighs are parallel with the floor (a). Jump straight up explosively and as your feet leave the floor, cross your right leg in front of your left, then uncross so you land with feet shoulder-width apart to complete one rep (b). Immediately lower back into the squat and repeat, this time crossing the opposite leg in front.

5. 180 Jump Squats

How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart and begin to lower your body, keeping your weight in your heels as if you’re sitting back into a chair, stopping just before your thighs are parallel with the floor (a). Jump up, turning your body 180 degrees mid-air, in order to land facing in the opposite direction (b). Immediately lower into your quarter-squat again, and jump and turn in the opposite direction, so you land in starting position to complete one rep (c). (For more squat variations, head here!)

6. Pass, Fall, Go’s

How to: Kneel on the ground and hold a weighted ball with both hands against your chest. Explosively push the ball forward from your chest and release it far as possible (a). Follow through by falling forward and catching yourself with your hands on the ground shoulder-width apart (b). Push back up and take off sprinting to the ball (c). When you get to the ball, that’s one rep (c).

Originally published December 2014. Updated February 2018. 

Source: 6 Plyometrics Exercises for a Quick Total-Body Workout