This area is seriously neglected. If you consider that you spend a lot of your time on your feet running, walking or just standing about, is it not time that you take a bit more care of your lower legs and feet?
I believe that of you take a bit of time out of your normal routine and spend it wisely on your lower legs and feet, you will gain plenty.
How Can I Make My Legs Stronger?
Plyometrics is a well known concept and practiced by many coaches and trainers. I further believe that plyometric jumps should not be done unless a sound lower base program has been followed. By doing this your lower legs will be stronger and you will be less injury prone.
This is a lower strengthening program done without weights, and your plyometric jumps will improve as you will be able to do more and at a higher intensity as your lower legs will be able to withstand the forces better. In the end you will become more powerful not only on the fields but you will feel the benefits in the gym as well.
Normal warm up routine to be done prior to this training session, with a bit more focus on the lower leg.
If you have never done this type of work, start off on 15m and add 5m every 3 or 4 week. I will not exceed 30m per exercise.
Week 1 - 2: 2 sets per exercise
Week 3 - 4: Add 5m or add 1 set per exercise
Week 5 - 6: 3 to 4 sets per exercise and add 5 m to the distance
Week 7 - : Just add distance until you've reached 30m.*
* I recommend not more than 3 sets per exercise.
Rest is normal walk back after every effort.
The Different Kinds Of Jumps
Note: Jumps should be done with a stiff knee as far as possible and every time your feet leave the ground, lift your toes up into the dorsi flexed position before you strike the ground again.
- 2-legged with small steps and feet facing forward.
- 2-legged with small steps and feet inverted or turned inward.
- 2-legged with small steps and feet turned outward or everted.
- 2-legged diamond jumps. (On your toes, with feet turned inward so that your toes touch. Jump forward and turn your feet outward so your heels touch still staying on your toes. Jump forward into the starting position.)
The same can be done backwards or with one leg.
- 2-legged to the left and then to the right with feet facing forward.
- 2-legged with feet inverted in both directions.
- 2-legged with feet everted in both directions.
- 180-degree jumps in a lateral line. (Start of with feet facing forward. Jump up and to your left making a 180-degree turn and land facing in the opposite from what you started off. Next jump the same but turn to the right.) Continue with this until you reach the marked distance.
- One legged for the advanced athletes. Same jumps as in the lateral jumps but with one leg.
After eight weeks of training on this program you will find you will move better as a runner and as a gym fanatic your stronger lower leg will give you more balance with your standing weights training. This program will also help players in events where they are required to be agile or quick off the mark as in soccer, football, rugby, ext ...
About The Author
Les Archer - Speed and conditioning coach Cats super rugby and Lions rugby Track and field, sprints and jumps international coach +27 82 429 7310 or firstname.lastname@example.org South Africa.