Explosive Body Weight Exercises and Paint Night (Recipe: Banana-Chocolate Chip Strata)

If you want a way to increase your leg turnover and speed, below are some of Michael Stack’s (an exercise physiologist and CEO of Applied Fitness Solutions in Michigan) favorite explosive body weight exercises for runners:

Jump Squats

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your back straight, and your hands behind your head. Lower your backside toward the floor until your legs reach 90 degrees or slightly more, engage your core, and power upwards as you jump. Land on your heels and repeat immediately.

Broad Jump

Stand with your feet slightly apart. Flex at the knees, lower your body, and swing your arms in unison to execute a two-footed forward jump. The objective is to jump as far as possible, landing on both feet without falling backward.

Skips for Height

With 10 to 20 meters of space in front of you, skip as high as possible, raising your knee and driving your leg upward. At the same time, drive your opposite arm to increase upward momentum. As you land on the opposite leg, alternate sides and repeat.

Skips for Distance

This move emphasizes forward motion, rather than upward. Skip forward, covering as much distance as possible, immediately alternating legs as you land and pushing off with the opposite foot.

Speed Squats

This move is just like doing a regular squat, but involves quick, successive reps. With your feet shoulder-width apart, lower your backside toward the floor until you’re at 90 degrees or slightly deeper. Quickly fire back up and then squat back down. As you do this, swing your arms in front of your body with each squat to aid power and balance.

Speed Calf Raises

Standing with your feet slightly apart, raise your body up onto your toes, engaging your calf muscles. Lower your heels back down and quickly repeat. As your calf muscles get stronger, you can graduate to standing on a stair and lowering to 45 degrees for more of a challenge.

If you get to the point at which the quality of the move is decreasing and fatigue is causing you to slow considerably, it’s time to back off. At that point, you’ll only be training your body to execute the exercises slowly, which defeats the purpose of this type of training.

Last week we had a girls’ night where we implemented our own paint night! Because Shawn (also my running buddy) is an artist for a living, she volunteered to guide us through what was probably our first painting since grade school. So much fun! We laughed ourselves and learned a lot! I now know how to blend and how to paint with “style”. And in the end, they all turned out pretty darn good!

IMG_0950 IMG_0953 IMG_0954 IMG_0957

1 year ago: We got Down and Dirty! (Recipe: Hermit Cookies)

Quote of the Day:

“Speed is dictated by one singular quality: The rate at which force can be developed.”               -Michael Stack

I made this Banana-Chocolate Chip Strata while A was in town this weekend, and it was tasty! It is definitely a sweet breakfast that you would only want once in awhile, and it makes a TON so it’s probably better if you are trying to feed a bunch of people, but I would definitely make it again! Very tasty! I am still having it for lunch this week!

Banana-Chocolate Chip Strata1 Banana-Chocolate Chip Strata2

Banana-Chocolate Chip Strata


– 10 eggs

– 3 cups whole milk

– 4 ounces cream cheese, diced at room temperature

– 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

– 1 lb cubed challah

– 4 large bananas sliced

– 2/3 cup chocolate chips

– 3 tablespoons cream

– 1/3 cup granulated sugar


– In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cream cheese, and vanilla extract.

– Stir in challah, bananas, and chocolate chips.

– Transfer to a buttered 3-quart baking dish. Cover. Refrigerate overnight.

– Brush with cream; sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350* until just set, about 1 hour.

Courtesy of Rachael Ray

This entry was posted in Individual Workouts, Recipes, Stretch & Strengthen. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Explosive Body Weight Exercises and Paint Night (Recipe: Banana-Chocolate Chip Strata)

  1. Pingback: Mini Italian Lesson #8 (Recipe: Gooey Spice Bars) | Oven Lovin' Runnin'

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