Push your training to the next level with this 15-minute plyo-strength workout

Jordan Smith
·4-min read
Photo credit: Philip Friedman
Photo credit: Philip Friedman

From Runner's World

This workout is part of the 30-Day Cross-Training Challenge designed to build strength, boost speed, and increase your power so you can become a better, more well-rounded runner in just 30 days.

To be a better runner, you have to well—run more. But to be a faster runner, you have to train specifically for speed. One way to do it is to combine your strength training sessions with some plyometric drills.

Plyometric drills increase your heart rate, boost your leg power, and improve the muscles’ and joints’ ability to spring quickly into action after landing. The better the muscles are at producing force against the ground quickly, the less time you spend on the ground, thus the faster you become. By pairing them with key strength exercises like the ones listed in this workout, you’ll be shaving seconds off your PR in no time.

How to do this workout: This 15-minute, high-intensity workout was created by Tinman Elite trainer, Chris Lee. Review each move, demonstrated by Lee below, so you can master the proper form. Perform each exercise for the recommended number of reps. Complete the workout at least once a week after a run. You’ll need a set of dumbbells and a chair. An exercise mat is optional.

The Warmup: One round

  • Push-Up To Lunge Rotation: 5 reps per side, alternating

  • Single-Leg Glute Bridge: 10 reps per side

The Workout: Three rounds, one minute of rest between each round

  • Farmer’s Carry In-Place March: 10 reps per side (with two 20-pound dumbbells)

  • Goblet Split Squat: 6 reps (with one 30- to 40-pound dumbbell)

  • Split Jump: 10 reps per side

  • Single-Leg Calf Raise: 15 reps (option to use two 20-pound dumbbells)

The Cooldown: One round

  • Sitting Glute Stretch: 5 reps per side

  • Flossing: 5 reps per side

Photo credit: Hearst
Photo credit: Hearst

Push-Up To Lunge Rotation

Start in a high-plank position and place your hands shoulder-width apart or slightly wider with shoulders stacked directly over wrists. Engage your core and glutes to keep hips level; your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Inhale, then bend elbows to lower your chest to the floor. Your elbows form a 45-degree angle with your body. Keeping your core engaged and hips in line with the rest of your body, exhale, and push back up to the starting position. Then, bring right foot to the outside of right hand. Rotate and extend right arm up toward ceiling. Return to starting position. Repeat on other side. Complete 10 total reps.

Single Leg Glute Bridges

Lie faceup, knees bent, feet planted, arms down by sides on the floor. Keep left foot on the ground and raise right leg off. Engage glutes to lift hips up, driving through left heel. Lower back to the floor, then repeat. Complete 10 reps per side.

Farmer’s Carry In-Place March

Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Keeping back straight, chest high, and shoulders down, draw right knee to chest then return to standing. Draw left knee to chest, return to standing. Continue to alternate to march in place while maintaining a straight back. Complete 20 total reps.

Goblet Bulgarian Split Squat

Stand facing away from chair holding one heavy dumbbell vertical under your chin. Place the top of your left foot onto the chair about three feet behind you. Bend right leg to lower down into a lunge, bringing left knee toward the floor. Be sure to keep your back straight and chest lifted. Press through right heel to return to starting position. Complete 6 reps on each leg.

Split Jump

Stand with right leg forward and left leg behind you. Push off from left leg and as you jump off the ground, switch positions with your leg, landing with left foot in front and right foot back, knees slightly bent. As soon as you land, quickly repeat. Complete 20 total reps.

Single-Leg Calf Raises

Stand behind a chair, resting hands on chair back for support. Shift weight to your right leg. Engage calf to rise up onto the ball of right foot. Drop your right heel back to the ground. For more of a challenge, hold a 20-pound dumbbell in right hand while performing the move. Complete 15 reps on each side.

Sitting Glute Stretch

Start seated with legs straight. Cross your left leg over your right knee, so that your foot is planted and knee is bent at a 45-degree angle. Stabilize your left knee with your right hand. Turn toward the crossed leg and hug your knee to your chest. Take a deep breath in, and open your left arm out, extending it behind you. Return to starting position and repeat. Complete 5 reps on each side.

Flossing

Stand facing a chair, right foot on the chair, right knee bent, slight bend in left knee. Shift hips back, point right toes to ceiling, and hinge at your hips with flat back. You should feel a stretch along the back of right leg. Return to starting position and repeat. Complete 5 reps on each side.

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