10 Plyometric Exercises For Speed Training
If you are a runner or play sports, include these 10 plyometric exercises in your workouts to improve speed and power output.
Table of Contents
- Who Can Benefit from Plyometric Exercises?
- Benefits of Plyometric Exercises
- 10 Plyometric Exercises For Speed Training
- Wrapping Up
If you want to get faster or improve your performance, lifting weights or running for miles may not be the best approach. Instead, you should perform some explosive plyometric movements to improve strength, power, and endurance.
This article will outline the benefits of plyometric exercises and which are the best ones for increasing your power and speed.
Who Can Benefit from Plyometric Exercises?
Plyometric exercises include explosive movements like jumping, hopping, and skipping. In essence, plyometrics are powerful movements generated by fast muscular contractions.
Plyometric exercises are, therefore, a very important training component for runners and those playing sports that require speed, endurance, and power output, such as football or track and field. 
Are Plyometric Exercises Suitable For Beginner Runners?
Plyometrics tend to be rather technical, which is why they may not be the best option for beginners. However, like with most exercises, there are variations and alternatives that can be implemented to work your way up to more intricate moves.
Benefits of Plyometric Exercises
This section will outline the main benefits of performing plyometric exercises and why they are an important part of conditioning programs.
Improved speed is one of the main benefits of plyometrics. This is because these types of exercises elicit the stretch reflex of muscles and tendons and activate fast twitch muscle fibers, which, over time, react faster, improving your speed ability. 
Plyometric workouts help you develop power as they require you to generate force for sustaining constant speed levels throughout the whole duration of the exercise. 
Improved Cardiovascular Health & Endurance
Enhanced fitness performance
Plyometric exercises were shown to help improve overall fitness performance in a series of sports, as they enable the development of better speed, power, strength, and endurance. 
10 Plyometric Exercises For Speed Training
Below you can find the best plyometric exercises for working on your speed, power output, and endurance.
Stand upright, then run moving forward whilst raising the knees alternately to your chest.
Start by standing upright, then skip forward, pushing through the front leg. As you skip, lift the back leg and move it forward to land, then push through it to jump and switch legs again. Continue for the duration of the exercise.
Start by standing upright with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge back at the hips and bend your knees to squat down, then jump up by pushing through your legs. As you land, squat down swiftly, and push through your legs to repeat the move.
If you have painful or injured knees, then you would benefit from performing less-impactful variations of this exercise.
Squat Jacks Pick-Up
Start from a standing position, with your feet close to each other. Jump up and widen your legs to land in a squat position. As you land, touch the floor with one hand. Repeat the move and alternate hands each time.
Start by standing upright, then lunge back. Once you lowered yourself into a lunge, push through the front leg to jump up and switch legs position. As you land, quickly lunge down with the other leg.
When performing this exercise, aim to create a 90-degree angle at the knee to prevent injuries.
Step Touch & Jump
Start by standing upright, then perform a side jump to move to the right. As you land, jump up by bringing your knees to the chest. Then jump to the left and repeat the move.
Starting from a standing position, push through your right leg to jump to the left. Land on your left leg, and swiftly push through it to jump to your right, making sure to land on your right leg.
Start from a standing position, with your feet close to each other and your arms crossed in front of you. Bend your knees and push through your legs to jump up. While mid-air, widen your legs to land in a squat position. Then push through your legs to jump again and move back into the starting position.
Stand upright, then jump up and move onto an extended plank position as you land down. Once in this position, perform a push-up, then quickly jump towards your chest with your legs to stand back up.
You may also want to explore burpee alternatives if you have injuries, low cardio fitness, want a quiet workout, or just hate classic burpees.
Start by standing upright whilst holding a jumping rope with your hands. Move the rope behind you, then lift it up above your head and to the front by rotating your wrists. As the rope gets in front of your ankles, push through your legs to jump up and move the rope behind you.
You could also perform some more advanced alternatives of this exercise, such as the high-knee version, where you skip the rope using one leg at a time whilst raising the other leg’s knee to your chest.
The above moves are just a few of the many plyometric exercises that you can do to improve your fitness performance. You could even build your own plyometric training program for improving your speed by using a fitness app, where you can track your progress week by week.
Plyometrics can be a great aid to your conditioning workouts as they provide plenty of benefits. Below you can find the key points about plyometric exercises:
- Plyometric exercises are explosive movements generated by fast muscular contractions and include jumping, hopping, and skipping motions.
- Plyometrics are best suited for people who play certain sports, like running or football, where they are required to have great speed, power, and endurance.
- Plyometrics are not recommended to beginners, although exercises can be modified to meet their skill level.
- Performing plyometrics can help you boost your fitness performance by aiding to improve power, speed, endurance, and your cardiovascular health.