Have you ever wondered if plyometrics will actually help your running speed? It is frequently asked: Can Plyometrics Increase Speed? As it turns out, there are many different opinions on the topic, some of which contradict each other. Let’s take a look at what exactly plyometrics are and whether or not they can actually help increase your speed while running.
Can Plyometrics Increase Speed?
The short answer is no, plyometric exercises cannot significantly increase your top speed. The reason for this is that plyometrics training increases muscular strength and anaerobic capacity which is what helps you sprint faster.
As a result, traditional plyometric exercises may not improve your ability to accelerate quickly or cover as much ground with each stride; they will, however, make it easier to maintain a higher maximum velocity over long distances since they help build endurance.
Finally, plyometric exercises may also lead to increased muscle soreness, which will slow you down or stop you from working out entirely. So while plyometric training can definitely improve your overall physical fitness, it probably won’t have much of an effect on your running speed.
Why Are We Looking At Plyometric Training?
Plyometric training has been around for a long time, but it’s seeing something of a resurgence today. Before we dive into why that is, let’s look at what plyometrics actually are and how they work.
Plyometric training is essentially high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves explosive movements that cause a muscle to exert maximum force in as short an amount of time as possible.
HIIT has exploded in popularity thanks to research on its benefits—it can help strengthen heart muscles, increase bone density, and even improve cognitive function by increasing blood flow to your brain.
Indeed, some experts believe that HIIT may be one of the best ways to combat aging. Whether or not you buy into all that hype, though, there are plenty of other reasons to try out plyometric training: It helps build strength quickly so you can get faster; it improves neuromuscular coordination so you can move more efficiently, and it puts less strain on your joints than other forms of exercise do.
What’s the Evidence for Plyometric Training Increasing Speed?
If you’re just starting out with plyometric training, it’s important to know that you should use caution. There are few studies on plyometrics and no evidence to suggest that an increase in speed is guaranteed if you consistently include plyometric exercises in your training program.
For instance, one study examined two groups of runners: One group performed plyometric exercises for 12 weeks and another group did not. Although both groups improved their 40-meter sprint times by a similar amount (1 second), there was no control group—making it impossible to say whether or not plyometric exercises played a role in these changes.
On top of that, there were differences between these runners before they started their programs; those who experienced greater gains were naturally more athletically gifted and able to tolerate more intense exercise loads than others.
Additionally, plyometric training has been shown to increase force production and improve strength. However, it’s unclear if these improvements will translate into faster sprint times.
The best bet is probably to keep things simple: If you want to get faster—and you have time in your workout routine—add a few form drills here and there. But don’t put all your eggs in one basket just yet; research hasn’t revealed whether or not plyometrics are effective for improving speed.
So while you might see better results than those who aren’t performing plyometric exercises, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should add them to your workout right away.
Just be sure to stay active and monitor how your body responds to a new program before delving deeper into an advanced system. Be patient and ease yourself into new training programs like plyometrics—always listen to what your body is telling you.
Related: How Long Should Your Plyometric Workout Be?
In conclusion, a smart runner can get more out of plyometric exercises by focusing on the strength and conditioning aspect in combination with technique. If used correctly, plyometrics can give your sprinting speed a boost—however, if used incorrectly they could result in injury.
Always know how to approach plyometric training before starting to use it as part of your running program. It’s recommended that you don’t jump into plyometric exercise without consulting an experienced coach or trainer first.