Plyometric training is great for developing explosive strength in athletes whose sports require short, intermittent, powerful bursts of movement. But what about endurance athletes — specifically competitive middle- and long-distance runners?
A new study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that plyometric training has a beneficial effect on endurance and explosive strength performance in distance runners.
The plyometric training regimen was carried out for six weeks, and included depth jumps and squat jumps. 20-meter sprint and 2.4-kilometer run times were measured before and after the explosive strength training.
The runners participating in the plyometric training showed a significant reduction in 2.4-km endurance run time and 20-m sprint time, and an increase in squat jump and depth jump explosive performance.
The authors (Ramirez-Campillo, et.al.) concluded that “properly programmed concurrent explosive strength and endurance training could be advantageous to middle- and long-distance runners in their competitive performance, especially in events characterized by sprinting actions with small time differences at the end of the race.”
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