There are so many different benefits to plyometric exercises, but every individual is going to have their own motivations behind their activity. When it comes to plyometric exercises, are they good for burning fat?
Plyometric exercises burn fat as this type of workout includes an eccentric, amortization, and concentric component that encompass a stretch-shortening cycle which includes very quick, powerful movements which burn through glycogen and lead to higher overall fat burn.
Plyometric exercises can benefit individuals in a number of different ways, but many people want to ensure that they will be able to achieve some sort of fat loss, no matter what workout they are participating in. Continue reading to figure out just how plyometric exercises burn fat, the other benefits to this method of exercising, and discover the best plyometric exercises out there for burning fat.
How Do Plyometric Exercises Burn Fat?
Plyometric exercises are an exercise modem that includes very quick and very powerful movements which are reactive to a contraction that results in an immediate explosive contraction. With these types of movements following one another, it means that this kind of workout method is one that, through its speed, is able to increase your heart rate through anaerobic exercises that burn glycogen and lead to fat burn.
More technically, this is accomplished through three different components which include the eccentric component, the amortization component, and the concentric component. The eccentric component is the first step in any plyometric exercise and this is the moment when the muscle is pre-stretched so that energy is stored within its elastic elements. This then aids in the acceleration of the exercise later on.
After the eccentric component, you then have the amortization component. This is the point where the exercise is stabilized (think of it as a very small pause). Through this your muscles transition from getting over the acceleration of gravity and then loads that same energy to continue on with the exercise and release it. This break or pause in the exercise is essential to the concentric component, but cannot be too long as the elastic energy can be lost.
The last component of a plyometric exercise is the concentric component. This is where all of that stored up elastic energy is released and the concentric muscle contraction occurs. This component is where the explosive movement occurs and where the most effort is given within the exercise. It is also one of the biggest aids to fat burn as this component requires extreme effort from your body which opens the door to a higher fat burn.
Knowing the makeup of plyometric exercises, you can see how they differ from that of simply running in place on a treadmill, using an elliptical, or completing the same weight lifting strategy over and over. The explosion of energy is what separates this type of workout from the rest as this quick-paced anaerobic exercise accelerates the heart rate and thus, the metabolism, leading to a higher resting metabolism which burns calories at a higher rate.
Other Benefits of Plyometric Exercises
Due to the nature of plyometric exercises, it is clear that they are great workouts for those who are looking to burn fat. Even with fat burning being one of their most admirable qualities, there are a few other benefits when it comes to plyometric exercises that should not be overlooked. Take a look below to find out why this exercise style is so popular.
Muscular Power and Speed are Improved
Plyometrics are designed to give individuals the ability to achieve maximum power in a short amount of time when they are working out. Through this practice, muscles are lengthened through the shortening of muscles as they contract before recoiling into a stretched position. This short time in between this contraction and extension is what helps to not only build muscle well but increases individuals’ ability to perform the action with speed.
Strength is Built
It may seem like this type of exercise is one that would not initially lead to any type of strength gain due to the way it is performed. No heavy weights are used, no large gym equipment is required, therefore, how can strength be built? Through the building of power and speed, your body is able to also gain muscular strength as you push your body to jump higher, step further, and throw further. Through this, inevitably, strength is gained.
Endurance is Increased
It is no secret that plyometrics require quite a bit of effort and dedication when it comes to making sure these exercises are done properly. Although they may not be the easiest exercises at times, through the various exercises, your body is trained to produce more force while spending less energy to accomplish the exercise. By saving this energy, it is only expended at the end of the exercise which helps to build your overall endurance.
Best Plyometric Exercises to Burn Fat
If you have decided that plyometrics are the route for you to take with your fitness journey, you are likely looking to put together some type of workout that will fit well into your everyday life, but also will accommodate the particular needs of your body. Take a look below and find a few (or more!) workouts that seem most applicable to you as you read a list of the best plyometric exercises to burn fat.
To complete the rockstar jump, start in a standing position with your feet together. You will then lower into a crouching position as if you were going to complete a squat with your hands either in front of your feet or beside them. Then, explode up into the air as your hands go above your head while your arms and feet move into a star position. Keep your core engaged and then return back to the floor in your starting position and repeat.
More intense than your average jumping jack are plank jacks. To complete a plank jack, you will get into a plank position with your elbows on the floor and your forearms extended in front of you. Keep your back flat and have your legs pulled together behind you. You will then keep your hips level as you jump both feet out wider than shoulder-width as if you were completing a horizontal jumping jack. Bring your feet back in and then repeat.
Crawling Push Ups
Going into another adaptation of a more basic exercise is the crawling push up. For this exercise, you will need an elevated surface as a low platform such as a very thick encyclopedia or staircase. Start in a pushup position with one hand on the surface and one hand on the floor. You will then complete a pushup, then, while you are pressing down, jump over to the opposite side and place the opposing hand on the surface and repeat.
Weighted Lateral Jumps
If you want to add a bit of resistance to your lateral jumps, the weighted later jump is a great option. To complete a weighted lateral jump you will need either a medicine ball or two separate weights along with an obstacle. Place a weight in each hand and stand with your feet about six inches apart and go down into a squat position. Jump over the obstacle you have placed on the ground then get down into another squat and repeat.
Burpees are one of the greatest plyometric workouts when it concerns burning fat. To complete a burpee, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, reach your hands down to the ground and jump your feet back behind you. Then, complete a push up and jump your feet back up to your hands. Explode upward as you jump and bring your arms above your head. Then, get back down into the crouched position and repeat.
Alternating Lunge Jumps
If you really want to feel the burn of your plyometric exercise, look no further than the alternating lunge jump. To complete this exercise, start in a lunge position with one foot in front of you at a 90-degree angle and one behind you bent and touching the ground. Explode up into a jump while simultaneously alternating the position of your feet before you land back on the ground. Repeat this in a controlled, but fast-paced manner.
No, this is not for those of you looking to get into dance class. However, this simple exercise is one that increases heart rate quickly and thus, can lead to more fat burn. To complete the toe tap, stand in front of an elevated surface (about 6 inches from the ground). Place one foot on the surface, but only barely touch the ball of your foot before you switch, through a jump, to the other foot. Repeat this as controlled, but as quickly as you can.
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