There are a few areas most athletes want to level up: power, strength, endurance and speed. Plyometric training, also known as jump training, improves them all. With high-impact aerobic exercises, plyometric training works your muscles in short bursts, rather than using gradual build-up.
Plyometric training starts with muscle-lengthening exercises, followed by muscle-shortening exercises. Whether you plump for running or jumping, bring these exercises into your routine and you’ll start to feel drastic changes in your performance and power.
Plyometric exercise is not a “quick result” exercise regime for beginners. It can cause damage to muscles and stress to bones, joints and tendons – so it’s aimed at those more experienced. And it aims to improve functional fitness over time…
PLYOMETRIC TRAINING — 4 EXERCISES TO TRY:
1 – The powerful, plyometric push-up
This is an ideal move to push your functional fitness levels. Aim to reach heights you’ve never hit before each session – having progress goals will prevent that pesky plateau with training.
- Perform a standard push-up, but when you push upwards, use an explosive force and energy so your hands leave the floor.
- It’s important to remember to cushion your hands when descending from the push-up to avoid injuring yourself.
- Repeat for 10-15 second. Remember this is high impact, not prolonged training.
2 – Squat jumps
- Position your feet a little wider than your hips lower your body down into squat position.
- Using your feet as springs, explosively jump through your feet. Try to jump as high as your body will take you.
- As you jump, lift your arms above your head for more impact.
- Squat down again and repeat.
Tip: Learn more about the squat jump here.
3 – Deep jumps
- Find a knee-high box or surface – make sure it’s secure.
- Stand on the box with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes close to the edge of the box.
- Step off the box and sit into a squat position (as if you’re sitting back onto a small chair), spending as little time as possible on the floor.
- Pour all of your energy into jumping as high as possible off the ground, using your arms , like strong wings, to help you jump as high as possible. Think explosive!
4 – Bounding burpees
Last but not least, the ultimate in explosive exercises – burpees. With their powerful bursts of energy, burpees are the personification of plyometrics. Here’s how to do them:
- Start in the standing position and position yourself into a squat.
- Place your hands on the floor as you jump your feet back into the plank position while keeping your spine positioned straight.
- Get into position for one push-up.
- Then, position your feet forward, outside of each hand as you move back into squat position.
- Immediately burst back to your feet – packing a powerful punch of energy into jumping as high as possible, using your arms to swing you to higher heights.
The sets and reps of these plyometric exercises have deliberately been left out. It’s important to gradually build up your own body tolerance and resilience, increasing each exercise’s effort and length at your own pace to avoid muscle-tendon and joint damage.
Personal trainer from Vienna, Austria
Jakob is a highly experienced personal trainer who specializes in health and mobility training. He supports his customer with weight loss, as well helps to build a strong muscular body.
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