There are so many exercise options out there that the wide variety can be dizzying for those beginning to find their way around the workout world. If you discover that plyometric workouts work well for you, you may be looking for a few different exercises to put into your routine.
Different plyometric exercises include plyometric push ups, jump-off box landings, box jumps, squat thrusters, lateral skater jumps, plyo lateral lunges, squat jumps, reverse lunges with knee-ups, jump rope, frog squat jumps, tuck jumps, and burpees with tuck jumps.
Plyometric exercises are an incredibly effective type of workout that will force the body to gain strength, endurance, and flexibility through movements that are quick and intense. If you are new to plyometrics or are simply looking to change up your current workout routine, there are a multitude of different exercises to fit your own personal goals and preferences. Read below to see what plyometrics are and read through a list of common and effective exercises.
What are Plyometric Exercises?
Plyometric training is a type of exercise modem that uses quick, powerful movements that are followed by a type of explosive contraction. More specifically, plyometrics are defined by three different components which include an eccentric, amortization, and concentric component. These are what make up the motions of a plyometric exercise as there is a system of reactive exercises, an eccentric contraction, followed by a concentric contraction.
The first component to start off a plyometric exercise is the eccentric component. This is when whichever muscle you are concentrating on is pre-stretched. This is where potential energy is stored throughout the muscles’ elastic elements which will help to fuel the rest of the exercise. This first component is essential as it is the power behind the exercise itself. If you were not to complete a pre-stretch, the concentric component would be hindered.
The amortization component can be tricky, but if properly implemented, it is extremely effective in accelerating you into the concentric component through the aid of the eccentric component (notice, all of these components are very interwoven and dependent on one another). Amortization is where dynamic stabilization takes place where the muscle transitions from the acceleration of gravity into a position of loading energy to release it.
The last and final component of plyometric exercises is the concentric component. This component occurs right after the stabilization of the amortization component which is where the elastic energy which has been stored is unloaded. A concentric muscle contraction occurs and tension is generated and energy is released in an explosive movement such as when someone is jumping to dunk a basketball.
If you find that the concept behind plyometric exercises is something that is appealing to you, it might be time to figure out a workout routine that fits into your capabilities, lifestyle, and time availability. There are dozens of different plyometric exercises out there, but take a look below to find some of the most popular and effective ones practiced and get to implementing some (or all!) into your plyometric workout!
Plyometric Push Up
You know how the standard push up works, but to turn this into a workout that can be deemed plyometric, a little adjusting needs to be made. To complete a plyometric push up, get into a standard push up position with your hands shoulder-width apart. Once you lower your body down to the floor, immediately thrust your upper body up with force so that your hands come off the ground and you are able to clap them before landing.
Jump-Off Box Landings
If you are wanting to start off with something a bit easier, try the jump-off box landing exercise. To complete this you will need a secured, elevated surface to jump off of. You will then jump from this surface, but will try to land on your feet as softly as possible as the bulk of your weight should be put on your toes. Once your toes hit the ground, roll your feet back until your heels tap the ground as you keep your knees bent and hips back throughout the landing.
Similar to the jump-off box landing is the box jump. This is more of a reversal of the previous exercise and you will need a stable, elevated surface to complete this as well. Once you have the proper surface, stand facing it and squat back in order to give your body the momentum to propel itself upward onto the top of the surface. The goal here is jump as high as you are capable of while also keeping your ability to complete a soft landing.
Speaking of getting into a squat position, get your blood flowing with the squat thruster. To complete this exercise, you will put your body in a high plank position and then jump your feet into a wide squat as you bring your hands up off of the ground and remain in a low squat position. Pause briefly, then place hands back on the floor in a high plank position as your thrust your feet backward before repeating.
Lateral Skater Jumps
For a plyometric move that is a bit less horizontal, but still just as effective, try lateral skater jumps. To complete lateral skater jumps, place a small hurdle on the floor as the point at which you will jump over. Then, go to one side of the hurdle and raise your inside leg up as you push off with your outside leg and jump up and over the hurdle. You will then land on the opposite leg and complete the same step in the opposite direction.
Plyo Lateral Lunge
To complete a plyo lateral lunge you will stand with your feet close together and your arms down at your sides. Before starting, engage your core while you press your hips backward. Then, step to the right with your right foot as you bend your right knee as your left leg remains straight, thrusting you into a low lunge. If you have trouble balancing with this exercise, take your hands and put them in front of you in a prayer position to help steady yourself.
Another jumping exercise is the squat jump. This exercise is very simplistic, but is extremely effective at increasing your heart rate through explosive upward movements. To complete a squat jump, place your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your arms straight as you go into a squat position and thrust your arms towards the ground. Then, explode up as you jump and reach your arms overhead and land.
Reverse Lunge With Knee-Up
This is a way to revamp a standard lunge in a way that is more suitable for plyometrics. To complete a reverse lunge with knee-up you will begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart and then step your right foot backward into a reverse lunge position.
Then shift your weight to the left foot as you bring your right foot forward and jump off the left foot as you bring your right knee up to your chest. Land and then immediately step back into a low lunge with your left foot and repeat the same process.
Jumping rope is one of the most classic exercises to exist, but it has been around for so long because it is so effective. Jumping rope can be classified, even in its most basic form, as a plyometric exercise. But if you want to increase the difficulty level, try increasing the rate at which you jump rope while also only jumping with one foot rather than two. You can also interchange your feet with each or every other jump to make it more adaptable.
Frog Squat Jump
This is an exercise that brings a bit of fun into your daily sweat. To complete a frog squat jump, stand with your feet in a wide position (wider than shoulder-width) with your turns turned out ever so slightly. You will then drop your body into a deep squat position as your hands touch the floor. Once your hands have touched, propel your body into an explosive jump, and be sure to land on the balls of your feet before repeating.
The tuck jump is another jumping plyometric exercise that clearly shows the effectiveness of powerful motion. To complete a tuck jump, you will start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, slightly bend your knees and keep your hips back and spring into the highest jump your body is capable of. As you jump upward, bring your knees up to your chest and, rather than landing hard, control your landing as you stop on your toes.
Burpee With Tuck Jump
To maximize the tuck jump, if you want something that is a bit more challenging, try implementing the burpee with tuck jump into your workout routine. To complete this exercise, get into a push up position and bring your feet forward as you jump up. However, as you jump up, bring your knees to your chest and then complete the landing by immediately getting back into the starting position of a burpee.
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