If you’ve been running for a while, hopefully you’ve learned that cross-training and strength training complement your running workouts and decrease your likelihood of injury. Another great group of exercises to add to your repertoire of activities is plyometrics.
What are plyometrics, you ask? The goal of these fast, power moves are to:
- Incorporate fast twitch muscle fibers
- Improve coordination
- Improve efficiency with turnover and cadence
- Improve stability
- Improve cardiovascular fitness
There are multiple power moves you can incorporate into your strength training days, including jump squats, jump lunges, box jumps, and burpees, but a more familiar plyometric activity that might even take you back to your elementary school days is simply jumping rope! (Any other 80’s kids remember Jump Rope for Heart?)
Jumping rope takes a small amount of space, is a highly effective cardio workout, improves endurance, and definitely works on that quick turnover we need to improve our speed with running. When jumping rope, your body recruits your calves, quads, and glutes primarily, but you also need your core to be stable to maintain an upright posture and utilize your arms to turn the rope. It’s a full body workout!
If you’re not used to jumping rope, it may take a bit of practice to feel comfortable coordinating the movement. Not only that, but it may surprise you by how taxing this activity is on your cardiopulmonary system. It can be humbling, for sure!
During my CrossFit days, I became reacquainted with jumping rope, even learning how to do double unders! I never got great at these, but at least I could do them! I finally ordered myself a custom jump rope from Double Under Wonder, and I love it! This was a beginning of the pandemic purchase that I have never regretted, and a perfect accessory for my home gym. I chose all pink (go figure!) with plastic handles, and it’s sized for my height, removing much of the frustration from jumping rope!
I currently add single unders to every cross training workout. I started the month of June doing my own fitness challenge of 100 single unders a day, and that lasted a couple of weeks. It only took a couple of minutes out of my day, and once I did this, I was more likely to find the motivation to work on something else in my home gym.
If you’re looking for a way to spice up your cross training workouts, add some plyometrics! Jumping rope is a great place to start.
If you’re training for a fall marathon, you have likely reached the point that you are running double digits for your long runs. You should already be in maintenance mode for your strength training! Adding plyometrics can be a safer way to add a new challenge to these workouts.
If you are interested in checking out Double Under Wonder jump ropes, I have a discount code for you! Use code ANNETHEVEGAN.
As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.