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Running Plyometrics With Melanie McQuaid: Step Up Knee Drive


This exercise closely resembles the motion of running and jumping and is therefore a perfect sport-specific functional movement.  Develop power endurance in your quadriceps by incorporating this plyometric exercise to  into your strength program for running and for cycling.

In addition to quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, gastrocnemius, and soleus (upper and lower calf muscles) are also involved in this exercise.  This movement requires hip, knee and ankle extension. Stand facing the bench and place your right foot on the surface stepping onto the bench.  Raise your left knee to hip height, driving the entire body upward off the bench for a hop while using the arms for momentum.  Keep one leg ‘grounded’ on the bench as you complete your reps.

The drive is initiated from the extension of the thigh of the grounded leg and the upswing of the non-stepping thigh to a position parallel to the ground. Coordinate movement of arms with legs as when running (opposite arm to leg). Start with three sets of 30 seconds/leg.  Take 30 seconds recovery between sets.


Thanks to Wolfgang at Endurance Rehab in Scottsdale for the instruction on this exercise.