Sound like something your looking to do? Then you need to add the following to your training plan…
Plyometrics & Deceleration Training
Plyometrics: Plyos for short, are an exercise that is used to increase explosive power.
They are movements that have your muscles stretching and then rapidly contracting.
Examples: jumping rope, jump squats, jumping lunges, lateral skaters, and clapping push-ups.
ADDING PLYOS TO YOUR TRAINING: If they are new to your exercise arsenal, don’t try and get all kangaroo like right out of the gate! It is NOT necessary to bound for the skies on your first attempt. It is crucial that you can safely perform a slow and controlled version of the basic fundamental movement before adding an explosive component. Ie: the air-squat is the fundamental movement for the jump squat. Once you have that, and only then should you attempt plyos. You can start with lower reps and a smaller explosion. Continue to slowly introduce more reps and explosiveness. Remember, progress not perfection. The goal in training is to advance while remaining injury free.
Speaking of injury free…let’s talk about how you can lessen the chance of injury in your next obstacle course race…
We reached out to a friend, Dave Gonzalez who has been a medic on the obstacle course race scene since the beginning. We asked him what the most common injuries are and how they happen.
Injury to the ankles made the top of the list. We immediately thought, duh, we are running on uneven terrain…so that makes sense. BUT he quickly and kindly (such a nice guy. If you haven’t met him…you should) explained that there were more injuries to the ankles caused by an athlete dismounting from an obstacle and not being able to catch their own weight.
Well that also makes sense, huh? Think about your decent after climbing over that 6ft or 8ft wall. That’s a pretty good distance from your feet to the ground…and most likely you’re not hopping over walls on a regular basis just to train your falling phase. (if you are…high five)
Even the monkey bars, rigs and rings have you free falling, evening if it’s a foot or two.
Now, take gravity into consideration and imagine the load that your body, including those little hinges at the bottom, attempts to absorb as you make contact with the ground. IT’S A LOT.
That’s why you add deceleration training…
DECELERATION TRAINING: focuses on a controlled landing phase after an explosive movement. How softly and controlled do you think you land? Parent’s…attempt some plyo squats after your kids have fallen asleep…you’ll find out pretty quickly if your landing softly. :)
Just like plyometric training, deceleration training can be regressed for beginners:
Step 1: We recommend performing negative squats where the lowering portion of your squat is performed more slowly than “normal”. Pretend your stuck in honey or some other liquid with a higher viscosity. That’s the tempo to move at.
Step 2: Once you’ve got the movement pattern under control you can practice a loaded catch by starting on a small platform and then jumping off and controlling your landing. (When we say small, it can be an inch…there is no right or wrong…only what works best for you.) Then step back to the top of your platform and perform again.
Step 3: Is to perform the full jump squat (at your height) and CONTROL THE LANDING all the way to your bottom position.
BOOM! Add these two jewels to your training plan and the next time you’re dismounting an obstacle…
You’ll be in way more control than you are today
NASM Certified Personal Trainer *NASM Youth Exercise Specialist * Spartan Obstacle Specialist * CrossFit Level 1 & 2 – Level 3 reading * CrossFit Gymnastics * Mobility WOD 101 & 102 POSE Run Method * Mobility WOD Performance Specialist * Spartan SGX Coach *TRX * USA Weightlifting