Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Plyometrics Today: The DOMS Tomorrow!

I have incorporated a new plyometric exercise into my leg routine and I must say, it is well worth it! For about three days after incorporating this routine, I had some trouble doing some basic movements - like walking!

Ouch, Ouch, Ouch - my calves were killing me. Even last Friday when I got a pedicure I had to tell the technician to go easy on the calf massage. I felt like I was missing out on my whole "Ochocinco Experience". Yes, I call Friday "Ochocinco Day" because like the great football player, I like  manicures or pedicures - and Friday is the only day I have time to squeeze in one little beauty treat, like a pedicure or a manicure.

I made up for the lack of massage with the foam roller, later in the week! 
Love the foam roller!

I got my new speed and and agility tip from the Parisi Speed School. I was looking for a new plyometric routine  - I thought I needed to add more power to my sprint and my kick going uphill.
In my search, I came across this routine:

It doesn't look like much, right? 
Well buyer beware....

I thought this would be a harmless exercise to add to my leg routine - NO! This is an intense little movement. It's different than calf raises or presses because it is not about isolating your calf muscles (gastrocnemius muscles - I love that muscle's name). Instead, this exercise is aimed at developing better neuromuscular (nerve & muscle) connections to increase speed and strength (=power) in your calves. This occurs because you are not only rapidly switching your feet while pulling your legs up - but each time your foot strikes the floor, you are pressing and stretching back (at a 45* angle) which adds just the right amount of resistance.   
I really think the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) I suffered from after doing this plyometric routine came from this exact combination: rapidly pulling my leg up and forcefully pushing/stretching my leg down at that little "innocent-looking" angle. 

This routine trained my calves, surrounding muscles (i.e., plantaris muscle) and tendons like they have never been trained before! And maybe it's psychological, but for the last few runs, I really do feel like I have more power in my kick! 

Thank you Parisi Speed School for Speed Tip #11,
it is definitely worth incorporating into any workout. 

Plyometric exercises can be incorporated into any routine - just remember to warm-up first, wear cushioned sneakers and rest between sets. Plyometrics exercises are used to prevent injuries because they build strength when the muscle is in its most vulnerable position - a stretch position - but, like any new exercise, start slowly (small jumps), stop if you feel pain or discomfort and of course,

Train Smart Today!

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