Now that you know why plyometrics are so good for triathlon strength training, here’s a few of my favorite plyo exercises and how to do them.
But first, here are a few really important things to keep in mind before you add a plyo workout to your triathlon strength training.
Plyometric Strength Workout for Triathletes
The most important thing is to make sure you use perfect form. Even though it may seem hard to maintain good form because you’re hoping and jumping, focus on using good body mechanics.
Basically, make sure you stay compact and don’t let yourself flail about when doing these exercises.
Stop your set if you can no longer use good form. It’s better to stop then to hurt yourself as a result of poor form.
Along with using that picture-perfect form, make sure you land lightly on your toes with each reps so that you lessen the impact.
Think of your entire body as a giant shock absorber. One more thing: don’t go from couch to plyometrics. What I mean by this is that it’s a good idea to have some strength before you go bounding in the air.
If you have not been doing any strength training exercises what so ever, spend at least 4 weeks gaining strength by doing the basics, like squats and lunges, before your feet leave the ground.
Get ready for blast off!
The best plyos for triathletes Click here to read why plyometric exercises are good for triathletes.
Start by doing as many as you can with perfect form and work up to doing each exercise for 1 minute. For an added bonus, try doing this workout 2 times through.
Click here for a printable PDF of this workout!
Just imagine that you are skiing down the moguls – picture the flow of this movement to help you maintain proper form: Bend slightly through your knees and stay light on your toes as you bounce side to side. Go one leg at a time for a real challenge.
A side plyo combines a squat with a hop side to side. Start by bending into a squat. As you rise back up from the squat, jump to the side and switch places with your feet. Bend into the squat and think about absorbing the shock by landing lightly.
Side plyos, like any side movement, are great for triathletes to incorporate into a training program because they strengthen the muscles you use for the side to side movement. These muscles can tend to be weak because swimming, biking and running strengthen the front to back muscles. Having strong supporting muscles can help prevent injury and help you bike and run with more power.
Front Plyo Toe Taps
Find a curb or small platform to use as a target. As you hop and switch legs, tap the target with your toe. This exercise will help build coordination (which is great to have after coming out of the water and running to your first transition area. Focus on staying light and quick on your feet.
This move will give you some great power as well as endurance on the bike. Plus, it works your glutes so that you can incorporate more hip strength into your full-circle pedaling. Furthermore, practice being in complete control of this move by using perfect form and you’ll become such a stud transitioning from the bike to the run.
In and Out Jump Squats
Here’s a good exercise to target your hips and keep them stronger for other triathlon events.
Start with feet together and jump and land into a sumo squat. That means your toes are slightly angled outward and your knees are flared out. As you land and go low into the sumo squat, think about working your inner thighs. Hop up and In one fluid motion bring your feet together and land into a close-leg squat. Now you’ll feel like you are targeting your outer hips which will be great for the bike.
High Knee Holds
This is a great plyo exercise for triathletes not only because it’s a tough challenge, but also because it targets your hip flexors as you kick your knee up to your chest, so really focus on the kick. Strong hip flexors help give you more power on the bike and improve your running stride.
This exercise can truly makes a difference between the feeling of being light and bouncy on your run and feeling sluggish and heavy. This exercise is exactly like jumping with a rope – but without the rope and using one leg at a time. Now you’ll try two variations: first jump forward and backward. Second, jump side to side. There are tons of ways to incorporate this workout into your triathlon training! Try going through this circuit once before a run to stimulate how your legs will feel after biking, or sneak one of two of these exercises in between your strength training sets, or just do this workout 2 times through for those days when you’re pressed for time. Happy Hopping!