Plyometric exercises are high impact exercises that are great for burning calories and building strength. Plyometrics are mostly used by athletes, especially martial artists and high jumpers, for improving performance, but they are used a little in the fitness field.
“My girlfriends and I just started doing plyometrics. It’s a killer – it hurts so much. But when you walk out of there, you’re like, ‘I can’t believe I just did that and my body looks this good.’ “ -Kelly Osbourne
Sound like your kind of thing? Not sure where to get started? Here are five different suggestions:
1) Jumping Lunges: Jumping lunges can really take your workouts to the next level. They will get your heart pumping and work out several areas of the body, including your thighs, glutes and hips.
To do them, you should lower into a traditional lunge. Once you have, jump up into the air and switch your position so that your other leg is now at the front. Note that this can be a bit tricky when you’re not used to it, and you may need to hold onto something for support.
2) Squat Jumps: These are a little easier to perform than the jumping lunges. To perform squat jumps, get into a normal squat position. This means that your feet should be around hip-distance apart, and your toes should be in line with your knees. Once in position, jump as high as you can, and lower back into the squat position as soon as you land. For extra effectiveness, swing your arms over your head as you jump.
3) Burpees: There are more steps required to perform this plyometric move. Start with your legs straight and together, and move into a squat before quickly getting into the push up position. Next, perform one push up before quickly bringing your legs back into the squat position and then jumping back to your start position. Don’t simply bend down slowly for this, you need to put some real effort in and jump into each position.
4) Box Jump: For this exercise, stand facing a box with your feet around hip width apart. Lower your body into a squat position before quickly jumping onto the box. You should the step back down and repeat the movement. A variation of this exercise is to stand side on to the box, and jump onto it sideways.
5) Jumping Rope: A jump rope is an excellent purchase for anyone who wants to get fit, and you can use it for your plyometric exercises. There are a number of different ways you can jump: with both feet landing together, landing on one foot, jumping side to side and so on.
Start off simple and get used to jumping over the rope before you move onto more complex exercises.
For More Information:
(1) Yessis, Michael. “Why is plyometrics so misunderstood and misapplied?”. doctoryessis.com.
(2) Starks, Joe (25 April 2013). “An Athlete’s Guide to Jumping Higher: Vertical Jump Secrets Uncovered!“. Athlete Culture.
(3) Brooks, G.A; Fahey, T.D. & White, T.P. (1996). Exercise Physiology: Human Bioenergetics and Its Applications. 2nd ed. Mountain View, California: Mayfield Publishing Co.
(4) Explosive Power: Plyometrics for Bodybuilders, Martial Artists & Other Athletes (Hfl Synergistic Training Series)
Photo by J R