Plyometric workouts are pretty much the INSANITY workouts I’ve been doing. And if you’re doing them right (in terms of the amount of effort you’re putting in), then they are hard. You sweat a lot. You are exhausted after your interval is up whether it be 30 seconds or 60 seconds.
Runners who want to get faster should integrate plyometrics into their training programs. But the benefits of plyos go beyond improving speed. They boost power, incinerate calories even post-workout, and increase running efficiency by teaching the body to use less energy to produce force and to decrease the rate of ground contact. Best of all, minimal equipment is needed to perform this type of workout.
Although, there are some rules you want to follow.
1. Always warm up properly. Dynamic stretching and some less intense cardio is best.
2. Never perform plyometric exercises to fatigue. Think about your form first and make every rep technically sound. Plyometrics can be dangerous when fatigue starts to set in.
3. Plyometric workouts should be separated from your running workouts. They are best performed alone or at the start of your strength-training workouts.
4. Build up to a plyometric program by making the exercises more challenging progressively. Do not be afraid to give your body a week off of these types of workouts.
What are some types of plyometric activities?
Jump Roping. Jump roping improves coordination, proper landing technique and cardio conditioning.
Jump Lunges. Get into a lunge position. Jump straight up as you drive your arms forward with your elbows bent. Land with one of your legs forward and the other leg behind you in a lunge. Repeat the movement.
Jump Squats. Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Push your butt back and bend your knees. Jump straight up into the air. Land softly on your feet with your knees bent. Do not allow your knees to cave in when landing.
High Knees. This is an exaggerated skipping movement. Lift and drive one knee forward while driving your opposite hand and arm forward. Complete the same movement on the other leg. Keep your eyes on the horizon and chest up.
Speaking of plyometrics–I don’t think I ever showed you the results of my last INSANITY Fit Test. The INSANITY Challenge is officially over. My strength and endurance are definitely way better than they were 6 weeks ago! Now, I just need to keep it up!
In terms of mileage for last week, here’s our results: 24.61 miles run and 13.54 miles cycled. I didn’t get a swim in last week.
I did, however, get to Furman’s Alumni Happy Hour in Raleigh! I had no idea so many Furman grads lived in the area! AND so many Furman grads that I knew! It was crazy! Two sorority sisters and two econ majors that I was friends with! It was so much fun!
Food for Thought: Tomatidine, a compound in green tomatoes, may help build muscle and protect against atrophy, according to a new study!
Quote of the Day:
“Running: Side effects may include sweating, euphoria and general awesomeness.”
If you like banana bread, then this Banana Crumb Cake is for you! It was delicious. And I love the crumb topping! I would even consider putting it on the top of my favorite banana bread recipe, too! Delish.
Banana Crumb Cake
Banana Crumb Cake:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups mashed banana (approx 3 large bananas)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup all purpose four
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 tbsp mashed banana
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
– Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
– In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
– In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until well-incorporated. Stir in mashed banana, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Stir in one third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk. Stir in another third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining buttermilk and the rest of the flour mixture. Mix just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
– Pour batter into prepared pan.
Prepare crumb topping: In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar and salt. Add in softened butter, mashed banana and vanilla and blend ingredients in (with a pastry cutter or a hand mixer at low speed) until mixture is moist and sandy. It should stick together in clumps when you squeeze it between your fingers.
– Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the cake.
– Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed.
– Allow cake to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Courtesy of Baking Bites