Upward Bound

Plyometrics Regimen

Laird Hamilton

Tower of power: Surfer and fitness role model Laird Hamilton demonstrates the finish position of an Olympic lift.     Photo: Kurt Markus

The following two-part workout is designed to improve your overall speed and quickness. A word of caution: Tall boxes are for longtime plyometric veterans only. Beginners should find a park bench or any other stable, elevated surface between 16 and 20 inches high (anything below the knee will suffice). Also, try to work out on grass (it reduces the impact on your joints) and reserve the depth jump (exercise "D") for week 16 only. As for medicine-ball drills, if you're training by yourself, get a rubber ball that bounces (find one at www.performbetter.com) and do the exercises against a wall.

A. Drop and Freeze
(10 reps) Starting on a box, lightly step off—never leap—and land, moving into a crouch stance to stop your momentum. Freeze for three to four seconds before the next rep.
B. Two-Legged Box Jumps
(10 reps) Stand in front of a box, crouch, swing your arms behind and then upward, springing high enough to land coming down to the box.
C. Split-Stance Jump
(10 reps on each side) Stand with one leg on the box and one on the ground. Push off the box and jump straight up and land in the same configuration.
D. Depth Jump

(10 reps) Begin just like the drop and freeze. When you land, instead of freezing, immediately jump upward as high as you can.

Medicine Ball Scoop
(8 reps) Squatting, hold a medicine ball between your ankles, then drive your legs up, jump, and throw the ball as high as you can.
Medicine Ball Chest
Pass (8 reps) Kneeling, hold the ball at your chest and throw it to a partner or against the wall as forcefully as possible.
Overhead Soccer Pass (8 reps) Kneeling, hold a medicine ball behind your head and throw it forward against a wall or to a partner.

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