What Are Plyometric Exercises?
Plyometric exercises are a category of cardio exercises that involve jumping. You may have also heard it called jump training. The technique is designed to increase your muscular power while also helping with cardiovascular health. Plyometric exercises are dynamic because they rapidly stretch the muscles out and then just as quickly shorten them.
What is so great about plyometric exercises?
Plyometric exercises force your muscles to relax and contract in quick sequences, which enhances elasticity, innervations, and strength of muscle tissues that are used in running faster, jumping higher and throwing further. The proper cycle of plyometric exercises done in the correct way will increase muscle strength and help to increase your vertical jump. For these reasons plyometric exercises became very popular among professional athletes. Plyometrics will help to increase your endurance and as you increase your endurance you will be able to burn insane amounts of calories. The best part about plyometric exercises are that you do not even need any crazy machines.
Why should I be careful?
Although plyometric exercises are some of the most effective exercises for creating stronger and more explosive muscles, they are also associated with many injuries. These exercises can be very high impact, and if you do not perform them properly you can have an even higher chance of injuring yourself. So before you decide to start doing plyometric exercises it is recommended that you get a trainer or a qualified coach for at least a short while so that you can learn how to do these exercises correctly.
So how does it work?
When you find a good plyometric exercise regimen that works for you and that really pushes you, you will be surprised how quickly you will burn off fat and develop prominent muscles. It is not unusual for people to lose 2 inches in their belly and 3 inches off of their hips in one month. If that isn’t fast, I don’t know what it is! Here are simply plyometric exercises to get you started…
- Squat Jump: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart in front of a step or bench (pick a height that is good for you) and bend your knees, make sure your knees don’t go past your toes. Stay on the balls of your feet while you jump onto the step/bench and then step back down and do it again.
- Sumo Jumps: This plyometric exercise will have your legs burning quick. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and clasp your hands in front of you. Bend your knees while keeping your hips back and then explode and jump as high as you can while raising your arms over your head. Land on the balls of your feet and repeat. Try not to make a sound when you come back down.
- Straddle Jumps: Use a low bench and straddle the bench while standing. As before, keep your hips back while bending your knees (like you are in a squat) and then explode and land in a squat with both feet on the bench. Step back down and do it again.
- Lunge Jumps: Stand with your feet hip width apart. Step forward with one foot and lower into a lunge and then explode off of the ground and switch the position of your feet mid-air. When you land the opposite foot should be in front. Make sure to never put your knee in front of your toes.
- Plank Jacks: Get into a plank position; make sure that your forearms are flat on the ground, your hands are clasped, your back is flat and your feet are together. While you are still in the plank, tighten your abs and jump your feet out wide and then jump them back to their original position. Then repeat.