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  • About VJ
  • July 22, 2020 2 min read

    Mark B Hangin out


    10 Plyometric Drills That Will Help You Be a Better Obstacle Course Racer

    Mark Batres

    Note - this is NOT a plyometric exercise!


    Plyometrics have been in my regimen since I was a kid. I am a slow-twitch, endurance athlete through and through. The days I saw my fastest times and least injuries, were the days I consistently incorporated plyometric drills into my training. Now that I’m in Obstacle Course Racing- a sport that demands a more diverse range of physical abilities- I find it even more necessary to work on speed, explosive strength, body awareness, balance and coordination. In this sport, the more well rounded you are physically, the more you’ll get out of your performance on race day.

    Studies suggest regularly incorporating plyometrics can improve:

    • development of neurological pathways leading to more muscle recruitment and faster speed of recruitment
    • muscle coordination
    • range of motion
    • ground reaction force
    • joint strength and reduced risk of injuries

    Coming from an athlete who balances training with a full time job, a family, and a coaching business, I can tell you it is a worthwhile endeavor to carve an extra 15 minutes, 3-5 times per week, out of your training time to dedicate to a plyo routine.

    Everyone can benefit from plyos from beginners to elite athletes. When starting to incorporate plyometrics, start slow, with basic drills and gradually add more dynamic movements.

    Here are 10 Plyo Drills I recommend: (See all these exercises in this  YouTube Video)

    *Start and finish with strides out and back

    1. Knee Highs
    2. Butt Kicks
    3. Rhythm Skips
    4. Back Pedals
    5. Power Skips
    6. Bounding
    7. Frog Jumps
    8. Single Leg Hops
    9. Side Skips
    10. Karaoke



    Mark Batres is an OCR athlete and competitive runner, coach, father, husband and all around awesome addition to the VJ team in 2020. 

    In 2018, Mark finished 7th at the Spartan Race World Championship and ranked 7th overall in the Spartan US National points series, with his best race being 3rd place finish at the Spartan Super in Chicago. His success in Spartan racing comes as no surprise as he comes from an elite level running background. Mark is a five time NCAA All-American in Track and Field and Cross Country and US Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier, with a personal best of 2:19.

    In 2018, after 10 years of coaching endurance athletes as a side endeavor, Mark launched his coaching business, MGB Racing. While he aspires to win races, Mark finds just as much satisfaction from helping others achieve their goals.

    Despite all his athletic success, Mark credits his wife and two amazing boys as his greatest accomplishment. He is, on all accounts, a devoted husband and father above all else.