In a nutshell, plyometrics are quick and explosive movements designed to increase strength and speed (hence, plyos mean “short”). Plyometrics are popular in HIIT exercises and athletes implement them into their training routine. In fact, plyometrics derived from Russian research to train Olympic athletes in track and field. Unlike the typical training exercises that include long and slow movements to increase muscle mass and strength, plyometrics is on the opposite side of the spectrum that involves short and rapid movements. So whether you’re looking to mix up your exercise variety or just curious about this type of exercise, check out how plyometric training can benefit you and how you can get started!
The use of plyometric training can increase muscle power and the speed of the muscles. These exercises activate the fast-twitch fibers in our muscles which then converts strength into speed. In addition, stronger tendons means fewer injuries and less stress on your muscles.
Because this type of training is rooted from training Olympic athletes, plyometrics is known to increase muscle endurance and stamina. This allows athletic performance to performance at a higher intensity for longer periods.
You can burn an average of 500 calories by doing an hour of plyometric training. Consider plyometrics another form of cardio that involves multiple muscle groups working at the same time. Another amazing benefit of plyometrics is that you can do these exercises anywhere and they don’t require much fitness equipment!
What makes plyometrics versatile is that it’s beneficial to all skill levels and ages. So whether you’re training for a sport or trying to shed a few pounds, plyometrics is viable for strength, flexibility, and conditioning.
Jump squats is a great plyometric exercises that can be done with or without stackable boxes. Start in a squat position and explode off your feet into a jump. Keep your core engaged and land back into the squat position. You can even do jump squats on TRX!
A burpee is a full-body plyometric exercises that can get your heart rate going! There are many variations of a basic burpee, but here’s one to start. Begin in a standing position and move into a squat position with both of your hands on the ground. Then, push off your body into plank position while engaging your core. Push your feet back into that same squat position and push back to the standing position. If you really want to challenge yourself, instead of ending in a standing position push off into an explosive jump.
Power skips is great for strengthening your major muscle groups and is fairly easy to do. It’s the same as skipping but when you find yourself catching air pull up your knees as high as you can.
Mountain climbers start in a strong plank position. Just like climbing a ladder or “mountain,” drive each knee towards your chest and do this as quickly as you can. Remember to keep your core tight and try to keep your buttocks the same height as your shoulders.
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