What is Plyometric Exercise Training?
The best wellness regimens have lots of variety because forcing the body to react to different movements in new ways ultimately makes you stronger, faster, and more agile.
There are so many types of training to incorporate into your fitness routine—interval training, strength training, core work, pilates, and endurance training, to name a few. One of the most beautiful things about moving our bodies is our agency, our ability to choose what feels the best for us.
Some training methods are on the mellow side, and while everybody needs to incorporate the types of exercise that allow for recovery, sometimes it’s better to pump things up to the next level.
Enter: plyometrics exercises.
What is Plyometrics?
When we say plyometrics training will take you to the next level, we mean that very literally. Plyometrics is also known as “jump training” because plyometrics’ foundational explosive movement is the jump. Plyometrics is a category of training characterized by exerting maximum force in short bursts.
The result? A massive increase in power.
What Are Plyometric Exercises?
You can find some examples of plyometric exercises on any playground in the world. Jumping, skipping, bounding, and hopping are all technically plyometric movements because they all require such a rapid burst of energy to perform!
If you’re wondering what types of plyometric workout movements you can incorporate into your workouts, give these a try:
Stand with your feet hip-width apart or slightly wider. Bend your knees to a 90-degree angle, keeping your chest up, back flat, and core engaged. Squat jump as high as you can, landing in your squat position, and repeat.
Starting in a push-up position with your hands below your shoulders, back flat, tail tucked under, and abs engaged, lower into your push-up. Once you reach the bottom, use all of your strength to push so hard back up that your hands leave the ground. Bring them together in the air for a clap and bend your elbows as you come down to lead you into the next one.
We recommend that you leave the clap out the first couple of times you try this.
For this plyometric move, Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Quickly drop into a push-up position by placing your hands on the ground and shooting your feet out as quickly as possible.
Do a push-up and use the elastic energy of the second half of that push-up to shoot your feet back toward your hands, landing you in a low squat. Vertical Jump into the air as high as you can and repeat.
Standing with your feet a little wider than hip-distance apart, bend your knees, and use all of your strength to broad jump as far forward as possible. Bend your knees as you land to absorb the shock. If you’re outside, keep going forward; if you’re inside, turn around and repeat this plyometric move.
The frog jump is going to be pretty similar to the long jump, except in this case, you’re going to start in such a deep squat that your hands can touch the floor (you know the drill: keep your chest up and your back straight). Now, use all of the force in your legs to jump. While this move invariably takes you forward, this time, emphasize height a little more than forward distance.
Like the long jump, do these continually forward or back and forth, depending on how much space you have to move in.
Alternating Lunge Jumps
You’ll begin your alternating lunge jumps with one foot forward. Bend your knees to 90-degree angles, jump upward with all of your power, switch your legs so that you land with the opposite leg forward, lower into the opposite lunge as you land, and repeat on the other side.
For a tuck jump, Stand tall with your feet hip-width distance apart. Bend your knees into a small squatted position (as much as you need), and jump straight up as high as you possibly can. Come back down on the balls of your feet, bending your knees to absorb the shock of the landing. Try not to miss a beat before jumping back up.
For extra brownie points, clasp your fingers behind your head with your elbows out. That way, you can’t use the momentum of your arms to help the journey up.
What are the benefits of Plyometric Training?
The benefits of plyometric training include (but are definitely not limited to):
- Accessibility (you can do these absolutely anywhere)
- Increasing muscle tone
- Burning lots of calories
- Supporting metabolism
- Boosting cardiovascular health
- Increasing stamina
Who should utilize Plyometric Training?
Traditionally, plyometric training has been utilized by high-level athletes to improve their game. But does that mean ONLY athletes can make these moves?
Plyometric training has fantastic benefits for anyone who can perform these exercises. As long as you are confident in your fitness level (especially concerning balance and joint mobility), you can incorporate plyometric drills into your training.
If you have suffered joint injuries in the past or have trouble with your ankles (these exercises can cause rolling if you’re not careful), be sure to work your way up with these movements. And everyone should speak to their doctors before implementing new training techniques to their workout regimens.
If you’re ready to reach new heights with your fitness program, it might be time to give plyometrics a shot! You can give it a try at any of our locations, or follow one of our plyometrics workouts on our virtual fitness platform iChuze Fitness. Give it a try today!