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Today, we're going to be working on lateral movements and explosive power drills. Movements like these build strength, endurance, speed, and flexibility so you can tackle whatever mileage you're staring down. As always, read through the workout first to get some familiarity before you begin.
If explosive work is difficult due to injuries, do what you can, either hopping or stepping with knees up, to bring as much power as you safely and comfortably can to the exercise.
THE WARM UP
Ruck 1 mile at warm-up pace. Remember good form.
If stairs, a step or a short box are available to you, we're going to do some eccentric work. Wearing your ruck, stand with both feet on the bottom step, facing out. Balance on your left foot and bend your left knee. Lower yourself until your right heel touches the floor. Push back up. Alternate sides, 3 sets of 15 reps.
Activating your glutes prior to your workout, especially one with plyometric work, can really remind your butt that they're the boss. Glute activation work is vital to maintaining a healthy back, support your core muscles, and help avoid muscle imbalances. A strong butt means a strong back.
20 Side-lying Clamshells Lay on your side, arm extending along the floor and your head resting on your arm. Bend both knees and bring them forward so your feet are in line with your glutes. Keeping your hips stacked and feet together, point your knee to the ceiling, firing your glute muscle. Once you've done 20, flip and repeat.
20 Knee Taps Staying in clamshell position, do the reverse motion. Lift your foot up until it's parallel with your hip, and tip your knee into the other knee pocket, keeping your foot elevated.
10 Bodyweight Pause Squats Stand feet hip-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward. Bring your arms out straight as you go down into a squat, hold for 3, and stand back up.
10 Bodyweight Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts Standing straight, lift arms overhead as you lift and stretch your left leg out behind you. Keep your right leg softly bent. Stand back up and alternate legs for one.
THE WORK x 2-3 rounds
20 Lateral Ruck Lunges Holding your ruck in hand, stand with your core braced and your feet hip-width apart. Take one step to the right into side lunge, until your knee forms a 90-degree angle to the floor. Push up with your right foot and return to starting position. Repeat on the left side for 1 rep.
:30 Ruck Jumps Laying your ruck on the floor, make sure there's enough space to the left and right of it to jump and safely land. (If your ruck is too tall, or you feel unsure, use another implement to complete this movement.) Standing on one side of the ruck, lower yourself into a deep squat. Using your arms and hips, drive and laterally jump over your ruck, landing softly in a deep squat. Pace yourself and jump side to side across your ruck for :30 seconds. Take :30 seconds rest. Repeat, aiming for greater power, height and speed.
20 Lateral Bear Crawls Wearing your ruck, start in Bear Crawl position. Shuffle your right hand and right foot to the side, followed by your left hand and left foot, as you move to the right. Switch directions, moving back to the left. Try and have space for at least three movements before you switch directions. More is better!
20 8-count Ruck Body Builders Yeah, you're welcome. Wearing your ruck, burpee out into a pushup, do the pushup, jump your legs out into a plank jack, jump your feet forward to your hands and then stand back up.
20 Lateral Crab Walks Wearing your ruck on your front, get into crab walk position. (Sit on your bottom, hands behind you on the floor, feet flat on the floor in front of you, lift your hips off the floor) Shuffle your left hand and left leg to the left for as many as you can fit before you shuffle your right hand and right foot to the right.
10 Box Drill Jumps No ruck for this one. Start this drill with both feet. Imagine (or draw with chalk if you can) a box with four points in front of you. Keeping your arms loose at your side for balance, hop the four points of the box with both feet. Then, just jump the box points with only your right foot. Then, only your left. Each full box rotation counts as one movement. You're doing 10 rounds.
10 Lateral Ruck Drags Place your ruck to your right side. Starting on hands and knees, lift your knees up, resting on the balls of your feet (this position is called a bear hold). From here, grab your ruck with your left hand and drag it underneath your body until it is on the left side of your body. Then, grab the ruck with your right hand and drag your ruck to the right side of your body. That's one.
10 Tuck Jumps No ruck. Begin with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Bending your knees, jump up, bringing your knees to your chest as high as they'll go. Make sure your knees are soft when you land.
THE COOL DOWN
Stretch, focusing on the areas that you have worked today and whatever feels tightest. Spend time in each position of your choice, releasing into the stretch. Take your time! You've learned enough by now to know which stretches are most effective for you, so enjoy some time doing them.