Plyometric Training for Sprinters

Plyometric training can be very beneficial for sprinters because it helps develop muscle strength and power in a way that sprint training alone cannot. This type of training helps increase the runner’s speed and should definitely be included in their program. When done properly, plyometric training will have an extremely positive effect on sprinters’ performance.

Here are examples of 4 great plyometic exercises for sprinters:


#1: Jump Squats

In order to perform a jump squat properly, start with your feet shoulder width apart. Then, lower yourself into the squat position, while making sure that your knees are not going too far over your toes. From then on, while keeping your core engaged, explosively jump up from the squat position utilizing your glute and quad power. Make sure that you land lightly on your feet and then return to the squat position to start over again.

#2: Box Jumps

To start, make sure that you pick a box that’s of the appropriate height for you. If you are new to box jumps, then you should start with the lowest box to make sure that you get the form right before concerning yourself with height. Then, stand in front of the box facing it with your feet shoulder width apart. After that, get into a partial squat position while engaging your glutes, quads and core. Then, swing your arms and extend the hips as you push your feet off the floor. Don’t land too hard on the box. The goal is to land as quietly as possible and do it in a controlled fashion to avoid potential injuries. For the best box to buy, see our review on the best adjustable plyometric box as well as the best shoes for plyometric.


#3: Forward bounding

Essentially, you are doing an exaggerated sprinting stride. As you are going forward, focus on creating long strides while keeping the proper arm swing and slight forward body lean. Make sure that you are landing on the forefoot with each stride and that you fully engage the posterior leg muscles of the back leg.


#4: Single leg vertical jump

Your ability to push off with each leg is definitely related to your sprinting speed. Therefore, the single leg vertical jump is a great tool for your sprinting toolkit. As you push off with the ball of your foot, engage your calf, quad and glute muscles to generate power for the jump. Keep a good arm swing with each jump and try to land in a controlled fashion. Make sure to do the same number of jumps on both legs and try to go as high as you can while at the same time maintaining proper form.

Now that we have some basic ideas for plyometric exercises for sprinters, we can put together some workouts that incorporate them.


Plyometic workout routine

One example of a plyometric workout would be: 10 jump squats, followed by 20m of forward bounding, 10 single leg vertical jumps per leg, and 1 minute of skipping. Then, after resting for 2 minutes, repeat the entire sequence 2 more times.

Another example is: 10 box jumps, then 10 single leg vertical jumps per leg, 10 burpees, and finally 10 jump squats. After resting for 1 minute, repeat the entire sequence 2 more times.

Of course, these workouts can be made more intense by increasing the number of repetitions, increasing the number of sets, decreasing the amount of rest between sets and adding more exercises into the mix.