Exercises: Plyometrics - Stretches

The purpose of this section is to provide an ongoing resource of exercises i.e. strength and Range of Motion (ROM) exercises / stretches. In the subheadings of this exercise section there is further information on specific plyometrics and stretching routines.

Not only is it important to be structurally / biomechanically efficient but it is just as important to be strong, along with adequate joint ROM and flexibility. The combination of these three disciplines (as well as a healthy diet) is what I consider to be the foundation of an injury free / health fulfilled lifestyle.

Some of this material may be running / sports related but all can (will) benefit from a regular strength and ROM / stretch program... particularly the older one gets. The important key to remember is to start an exercise program slowly and gradually progress whilst allowing sore muscles time to recover... this will enable future improvement via improved strength and agility.

As mentioned in... "The Barefoot Versus Shoe Controversy" section, at times one needs to "unlearn what you have learned" (as in Luke's training under Yoda)...

... to be open to look at things from a different perspective when required; to break old habits which contribute to adverse forces, injury and poor economy; to thus develop new habits with more conducive attributes for optimal economy... and hence develop new neuropathways (within our brain) for these new movements / habits to take hold so they are being reflected in our habitual movement patterns (i.e. running style), subsequently helping improve efficiency / economy and performance. Plyometrics / drills are an effective way to engrain these more optimal movement patterns within our neuropathway system... as well as improve strength, speed and agility.


♦ General Core Stability Exercises:

In relation to running / sport related activities, a good core routine should also incorporate vertical (i.e. standing upright) 3 dimensional (i.e. working the three body planes of transverse, sagittal, frontal) dynamic related exercises (i.e. lunge walking with a transverse rotation to each side). This variety of core routine is more functionally sound for developing activity specific strength and range of motion (ROM) for optimal conditioning... which thus aids optimal efficiency / economy - subsequently performance. The majority of the following routines are floor / ground based exercises; however, I hope to provide video examples of dynamic, vertical 3 dimensional core routines in the future.

• The following videos are courtesy of the Runner's World Website:

- The first instalment is a series of floor based strength exercises (Dynamic Core Routine) from marathon runner Josh Cox (2.13*) who is based at Mammoth Lakes (California), where he trains with a group of distance runners, including Ryan Hall (2.06* marathon runner). [*-at time of writing]

Just click on the arrow [ > ] to play...

♦ Dynamic Core Routine: 


♦ Back Workout:

♦ Posture workout:


♦ Feet Workout:

♦ Circuit Training: this is a good training session for developing all round strength, agility and flexibility in amongst running reps. - hence honing the strength into the running motion (neuropathway development). This is effective for safe guarding yourself from future breakdown / injury whilst building an aerobic base. This workout is also effective in providing a bit of diversity into the weekly training schedule.

The following 4 videos are from Jay Johnson, courtesy of Running Times.

- Just click on the arrow [ > ] to play...


- Plyometric Exercise as well as Dynamic Stretches (probably best described via video format) which are both great forms of acquiring good ROM before activity as well as (specifically in the case of Plyometrics) developing good strength, technique and efficiency / economy.

• For ease and practicality, the plyometric and stretching information are in separate subheadings to the left (under "Exercises" in main menu).