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Why Jumping Matters

Did you know? Over 30 million people run for exercise in the USA! As much as we would like to say the reason for that is because running is awesome, the reality is that there are few other exercises that are as accessible and beneficial as running. Running is a skill that few are taught; as a result, runners often pay the price with as many as 80% becoming injured and thus losing precious training days over the course of a year. While most runners run as their only form of exercise, we all know that running should be a part of an exercise routine and not the entirety of it. Strength training and gait retraining for improving tissue capacity and running efficiency play a large role in performance and injury reduction. But what if we are missing another piece?


Running involves the ability to load and explode. It is often stated that running is characterized by jumping/hopping from one foot to the other. This concept of jumping is a form of plyometrics which involves a loading phase (eccentric) and exploding or unloading phase (concentric). The inability to perform either of these tasks properly can cause energy leakage, abnormal movement patterns, excessive stress, poor performance, and potentially injury. Because so many runners neglect other aspects of training, getting them involved with strengthening, let alone plyometric training, is a tall task. So, it’s worth our time to stress the importance of not only traditional strengthening but also plyometric training as part of our runners' programs.


So, why else does jumping matter?


Well, the benefits of jumping are numerous