Kill a number of fitness birds with one stone by bringing speed and power into your muscle building movements.
Box jumps look good in a slo-mo Instagram post, and squats make you feel like a badass under a clatter of blue plates on a barbell.
But it hit me when I was forced into a grueling set of bear crawls, bunny hops and hill sprints with the Royal Marines in Lympstone, that we’re overlooking one of the most simple but effective glute and lung builders in the game.
Mark out 20 metres, squat down and spring yourself up and forward, landing back into your deep squat before powering up and out again.
Speed, Power and coordination
Plyometric training stretches a muscle before producing a powerful contraction. This develops fast twitch muscle fibres characteristic of basketball players or sprinters.
Box jumps are great but when you string a load of jumps together over a set distance you’ll shine the spotlight on a number of weaknesses.
Unlike a Box Jump, you’ll build coordination to help you spring up immediately after you land – forcing your body to react faster, and engaging your mind as your lunges cry out for breath, and your thighs scream for mercy.
Mental stamina under fatigue is just as powerful as the legs you’re trying to build.
Badass lung capacity
Plyometric movements recruit a lot of muscle fibres which need a greater blood and oxygen supply. By stringing together a load of bunny hops you’re calling on your lunges and heart to up their game.
Accept it, weather you want to bench ridiculous amounts, lose weight, or complete a mud run, your muscles need oxygen and blood circulation to operate. Do you ever feel out of breath lying on a bench eight reps in? Then stop telling people you don’t need a cardiovascular system.
Without good circulation the instant you’re presented with a movement you’re not accustomed to your body will freak out and a good circulation of blood and oxygen will make it a hell of a lot easier to press through.
Ido portal talks about how copying animal movements develops more natural muscle balance, for the kind of movements our bodies were designed to have in the first place – run, climb, hunt and so on.
Our knees aren’t designed to allow us to sit in an office chair.
Copy the rabbits movements to boost the elasticity of your quads and hamstrings, mobilise your knees, and expel the stiffness brought on by eight hours a day sitting on a swivel chair.