Power Training For Endurance

Maybe you play soccer or basketball. Maybe you run or ski cross-county. All are demanding sports that tax an athlete's endurance. Players and coaches are always looking for ways to effectively improve performance. So try applying plyometrics to a basic strength training workout. Researchers at the National Strength and Conditioning Association recommend this approach for enhancing top speed, uphill running capacity and quick-burst speed. The secret is in decreasing the time while increasing the magnitude of each repetition.

On the days you work the lower body, plyometric exercises like the box jump and lateral hurdle hops complement leg presses, curls and extensions. On upper body days, combine medicine ball chest passes and power drops with bench presses, incline dumbbell presses and seated rows. Remember, the greater the force and speed, the more you'll improve your power of movement. Of course, if you're new to resistance training, you should undertake 8 to 12 weeks of supervised circuit training before attempting the speed and power movements.

The Bigger Picture: Scientists believe that power training improves running time by strengthening not only your body's physiological abilities, but your mental functions as well. You're also likely to benefit from the confidence that comes with knowing you'll be able to kick out an extra burst of speed during future competitions. Strength athletes can also realize gains by applying these techniques to their workouts. It's all about working those muscle fibers in new and different ways.
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