What Is Plyometrics?
Plyometrics is a type of exercise where you perform movements with your legs at high speeds while maintaining balance. This kind of training improves agility, flexibility, strength and power. It is often used in sports such as soccer or basketball because it helps players improve their skills. Some examples include: sprinting, jumping, skipping and other activities involving quick changes in direction.
The main benefit of plyometrics is that they develop explosive strength and power. They are also effective for improving athletic performance, especially when combined with resistance training. Plyometrics can be performed either on a stationary bike or a treadmill, but most experts recommend using machines to increase the intensity and range of motion.
Plyometric exercises can be done in any order; however, they should all start from the same starting position.
Benefits Of Plyometrics For Your Body And Muscles
Improved Agility and Balance: Plyometrics increases balance and agility. It improves your ability to maintain stability during sudden movement. It also develops your coordination, which makes you better able to react quickly in different situations.
Improved Speed: Plyometrics will improve your speed because it trains the muscles involved in running at higher speeds (and faster than usual). This can help with sports and other events that require short bursts of speed. Develops Muscle Fibers: With plyometrics you are training fast-twitch muscle fibers which will improve overall muscle tone, size and definition. It also helps to increase your ability to develop strength.
How To Create A Good Plyometrics Routine
If you have never done plyometrics before, it is recommended to start slowly and gradually build up the intensity over time. Begin with a short warm-up routine that stretches and engages the muscles you will be using during plyometrics. This will help prevent injury and prepare your body for the exercises to follow.
Then, choose a series of exercises that work on your major muscle groups, such as legs, chest and back. It is also a good idea to mix in some core exercises in between sets. Some examples of plyometric exercises for these muscle groups include:
Resisted box jumps
Medicine ball throws
Once you have completed a thorough workout that works your major muscle groups, complete a short cool down and stretch. This will help your muscles relax and avoid cramping or injury. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise routine.
It is important to maintain proper form when performing plyometrics. This means that you should be bending the knees slightly during jumping exercises. As you stretch back to jump, the knees should be bending and the thighs should be close to the ground.
This helps to engage and strengthen the quadriceps muscles in your legs. Also remember to keep your upper body forward and do not bend at the waist when you jump or move quickly from side to side. This helps to maintain balance and focus the effort on your muscles rather than your joints.
You want to be sure to properly warm up your muscles before engaging in plyometrics. This is especially true if you are new to plyometrics or it has been a while since you have done any. A good way to do this is with a light jog or walking warm up, followed by some dynamic stretching exercises.
These are a few examples of dynamic stretching exercises:
Trainer Forward Arms-Reach
Bounding (or jumprope)
Once you have completed your warm-up, choose a series of plyometric exercises to engage your major muscle groups. Always remember to start at a level that is comfortable for your current fitness level and build up the intensity over time. The following are a few examples of plyometric exercises:
Medicine ball slams into a wall
Squat Thrusts-Explosive jumps in and out of the bottom of the squat position
Broad Jumps (for leg muscles)
Kicking and punching bag
Sprinting and Shuffling (for legs)
Use these and other exercises as a guideline to create your own routine. Be creative and have fun!
Advanced Plyometrics Routine to Get You Ripped and Cut!
Doing plyometric exercises can help you increase your speed, agility and overall power.
Plyometrics is also a great way to improve your general fitness level and endurance. It helps to rapidly increase your leg strength and power, so that you will be able to jump higher and run faster.
In addition, plyometrics is a great way to tone and define your quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles.
There are many different types of plyometric exercises that you can perform. However, you do not need to try to learn every single one. Instead, focus on mastering a few of them, as this will help you see the best results.
In order to get the most out of plyometric training, you should include plyometrics into your overall fitness plan. This means that you should be eating right and getting adequate rest in between workouts.
You can perform plyometrics multiple times per week. However, it is not recommended that you train this way more than three times per week. Instead, it is best to perform plyometrics a few times per week and pair it with other aerobic exercises such as running or biking.
Perform your plyometric exercises at the beginning of your workout. Follow this up with some light stretching and then proceed with the rest of your workout plan.
Always begin with a warm-up. This is especially important if you are a beginner, but it’s a good idea for everyone. Jog or bike lightly for 3-5 minutes.
Next, perform a dynamic warm-up.
To perform a dynamic warm-up, begin with some marching in place. Afterwards, add some simple jumping jacks into the mix. Follow this up with some high knee lifts and then some butt kicks.
When doing plyometrics, it is important to always land softly. This is known as “controlled falling”, and it will help to prevent injury and allow you to reduce the impact on your joints. The best way to do this is by not landing on your heel when jumping.
Instead, land on the middle of your foot, roll onto your toes and only then bring your heel to the ground.
If you are a beginner, it is a good idea to hold light weights while you perform plyometric exercises. This is not necessary for more experienced athletes.
When it comes to which muscles plyometrics works, the answer is all of them! Plyometrics works your legs, back, arms, chest and shoulders. However, the main focus is on your quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.
If you begin to feel pain in any particular area (especially your knees), then you should consider reducing the frequency or intensity of your plyometric routine.
Plyometric exercises can be risky if not performed properly. Always stretch before and after your workouts, and take a day off in between to allow your body to recover.
It is also a good idea to learn proper landing technique. This will help to prevent injury, especially when you’re just starting out. Injury is most common with beginners because their muscles are not yet conditioned for the level of impact involved with plyometrics.
Here are some common types of plyometric exercises. You should master each one before moving on to the next one.
The first, and easiest, is the jumping jack. Stand with your feet together and arms at your sides. Jump and quickly spread your legs wider than hip-width apart and swing your arms overhead.
Quickly reverse the motion and return to the original position. Start with 20 reps and build up to 50 reps over several weeks.
Next, is the box jump. Place a sturdy box (start with 12 inches high) against a wall. Stand with your feet just past the edge of the box and toes hanging over the edge.
Squat down and then explode upwards, using the force of your legs to jump onto the top of the box. Land softly and immediately bend your knees and drop back into the squat position. Make sure to land softly from this position as well. Do five sets of 10 reps.
Next is the broad jump. Place a tape measure on the ground and stand with your toes on the “0” line. Using only your legs, explode through the hips and swing your arms forward to jump as far as possible.
Land softly and keep the knees soft to absorb the impact. Do three sets of 10 reps.
As your muscles get stronger you can use heavier objects for medicine ball throws and slams. Start with a 2 or 3 kilogram ball and throw it underhand against a wall. Catch the ball and do it again.
Be careful not to twist or jerk your body as this can cause injury.
For slams, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Hold the ball in front of you with both hands and then raise it above your head, bending your arms at the elbow. Use your arms and shoulders to explosively slam the ball against the floor and quickly pull it back to above your head.
Do three sets of 10 reps.
As you get stronger you may want to try jumping exercises. There are many types of box jumps, including broad jumps onto a box, repeated squat jumps onto a box, short vertical jumps onto a box and more. Choose one exercise and do three sets of five reps every other day.
You can also use weighted vests, sandbags or hold a dumbbell in each hand to increase the level of difficulty.
It’s important to master the fundamentals and build a solid foundation of fitness before moving on to more difficult exercises.
Make sure to stretch both before and after your workout.
Continue this program for at least three months before making any changes. You should also only do this program two to three times per week so your muscles have time to rebuild themselves.
For the first three weeks you can take a week off before and after the program. This is to allow your body to rest and recover.
Give yourself at least one full day off in between each session, three if you can. This will not only help your muscles rest and rebuild but also allow you to mentally recover so you can focus better.
Before beginning, it would also be wise to consult your doctor. This plan involves a lot of physical activity and if you have any pre-existing conditions you’ll want to make sure you’re healthy enough for this program.
The first month or two will be difficult and your body will protest. It may seem impossible to do at first but don’t give up! Stick with it and you’ll be glad you did.
Do not listen to the naysayers that say this amount of exercise won’t produce results. They are most likely lazy people that want all their exercise done for them. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your new body.
This program combined with a proper diet is what you need to turn your body from something average into something great!
Now get to work soldier!