Sandpit running and plyometric workouts combine to give you a beneficial off-season conditioning session. No matter what your sport, you will benefit from the strengthening, speed, power and agility gained from these types of exercises. While sandpit running improves strength, speed and agility, plyometric exercises improve your power through various jumping and bounding exercises. Perform sandpit running and plyometric exercises at least two to three days a week for results that will prepare you for your approaching sports season.
Running in soft sand increases resistance, giving you a more beneficial aerobic and strengthening workout. As the surface gives under your feet approximately two to three inches, your legs exert more force and power to run. When you practice running in sand, you build muscle more quickly, thus making you faster on solid ground.
Use a sandpit that is at least 10 yards long for effective sandpit training, or run on a beach in the softer section of sand. Split up your sandpit running session into four sections. Run four lengths of the 10-yard sandpit, then immediately run four 10-yard dashes on solid ground. Rest for two minutes. Run three 20-yard lengths of the sandpit, then run three 20-yard dashes on regular ground. If running in a 10-foot long sandpit, just turn around after running the length and run back to the opposite side. Take a three-minute break. Run two 30-yard lengths in the sandpit and two 30-yard dashes on solid ground. Rest for four minutes. Finish your sandpit workout with a final bout of one 40-yard run in the sandpit followed by a 40-yard dash on solid ground.
Plyometric training builds power in the off-season through its variety of jumping and bounding movements. This type of exercise can be modified to suit your specific sport. For example, if track and field is your sport, a variety of jumps from objects of various heights followed by a second jump from the lower surface will help you build leg power for various events. However, this kind of exercise can also build power in your upper body as well.
Place a two-foot high box next to the surface you plan to jump on. Jump from the box onto the surface, then immediately jump as high as you can into the air. To create more resistance for additional power, jump into a sandpit, then jump into the air as high as possible. To build your upper body, incorporate a pause during push-ups, in which you clap your hands together. Perform a basic push-up, then as you have pushed your upper body half-way up, pause and clap your hands together before finishing the push-up movement.