Running is a very good form of exercise and is great for cardiovascular and mental health. Anyone can do it, regardless of age and all you need is a good pair of trainers. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that it’s easy to increase your training too quickly, in other words, overdo things. Your cardiovascular system adapts much more rapidly to running than your musculoskeletal system, meaning that while you might feel able to run further and faster, you may be in danger of overloading your joints, muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons.         

Most running injuries are caused by overloading or increasing training programmes too quickly. So make sure you build up in a consistent way, increasing week by week by no more than 10% for any variable (time, distance or speed).   

For those of you already running regularly, a programme of plyometric exercises, like the ones I recommend below will help you to develop tensile strength in your muscles and tendons to support your joints and progress your running without injury.

Three great plyometric exercises for runners

Make sure that you are warmed up, well hydrated and do not attempt them (without advice from a physiotherapist) if you are recovering from an injury. These are quite taxing exercises and are aimed solely at experienced runners with good fitness, strength and conditioning.


Exercise 1: Drop off

Stand on a low step. Drop off with both feet and land as softly and silently as possible. If you don’t have a gym step or plyo box, you can use the bottom step of a staircase.

The purpose of this is to enable you to better absorb impact through your joints, which is essential for running and injury prevention.


Exercise 2: Hop, land and balance

Initially, on a flat surface, hop forwards onto one leg, control it with a quiet landing, hold in that position for two seconds and then, hop forwards onto the other leg and repeat.

This is good as it helps absorb the landing, helps with controlling to a stop and improves drive of distance which is important with pushing through harder inclines.

Exercise 3: Drop, bound and balance 

Start on a step. Drop off onto one foot and then bound forward and land and balance on the other foot. Repeat all three exercises a maximum of 3 – 5 times (3 sets) with at least 72 hours of rest before attempting them again.

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


PhysioFit Team