As an athlete or sportsperson, maintaining fitness is of utmost importance. To stay in the pink of your fitness conditions and improve your speed, strength and endurance, you must follow a specific exercise routine that keeps your bones and muscles healthy. Plyometric exercises benefit athletes who aim to improve their fitness and perform better at particular sports. These exercises are relatively easy to do anywhere and can also be done by people who are not so much into sports but are into improving their fitness. What are plyometric exercises, what does a schedule include, and who is it meant for? In the following sections of this guide on plyometric exercises, we will be sharing with you all the required information related to the same. We will also list the best plyometric exercises and their benefits to help you find the best routine according to your goals.
Best Plyometric Exercises
Plyometrics are challenging exercises that help you improve your fitness and get faster, stronger and more stable for intense physical activity. This type of training uses force and speed of movement to build better muscle power. These exercises improve your physical fitness and enhance your performance and the ability to do different activities. Exercises that include running, jumping, kicking, throwing and pushing are a part of plyometrics and are more often used as part of athlete’s training. After an accident or injury, people in physical rehab who wish to get back into good shape and biological function also use these exercises.
When starting your plyometric exercise routine, try working with an experienced trainer who can guide you on how to safely do these exercises, jump, and land the right way to avoid injury. Start slow and low by mixing only a few plyometric moves into your regular workout routine. As you gradually work these exercises up, adding them to your workout routine increases the difficulty, duration and intensity.
What are plyometric exercises, and who should do them?
Looking at the best plyometric exercises and how these exercises are suitable for better fitness and form, you must be wondering what plyometric exercises are. Let us understand what plyometrics is and how it works. Known as jump training, plyometric exercises are powerful aerobic exercises that intensely exert your muscles in a very short period to improve strength, speed and endurance. Plyometric training is excellent for any sports and physical activities that involve explosive movements, which is why it is suitable for athletes and sportspersons. These exercises include jumps and hops. When you jump and land, your muscles stretch, which gives more power to the next movement. These exercises combine stretching and contracting that shape up your muscles.
As plyometric exercises can be stressful to your ligaments, tendons and low-extremity joints, like your knees and ankles, you must do these exercises only if you have the fitness and strength required. While these exercises are highly beneficial for athletes and sportspersons, anyone who wishes to get into good shape and improve fitness and form can do these exercises.
6 Best Plyometric Exercises
The previous sections show that plyometric exercises involve high-intensity running and jumping that improve strength, speed and endurance. This section will list the six best plyometric exercises you can practice anywhere without any equipment or props for the best results. The best six plyometric exercises are:
- Jump squats
- Box jumps
- Jump lunges
- Truck jumps
Jump Squats are one of the best plyometric exercises for the legs. Follow these steps to correctly do jump squats:
- Stand with your feet apart, slightly wider than your hips.
- Lower down your body to a squatting position.
- Jump explosively, pressing up through your feet and engaging your abdominals. Lift your arms over your head when you jump.
- Lower your body down to the squatting position upon landing.
- Do 2-3 sets of this plyometric exercise, repeating ten times each.
Box jumps are one of the best plyometric exercises for runners. Box jumps target your hamstrings and gluteal muscles to improve speed. You will need a 12- 36-inch high box or object to jump on for this exercise. The following steps will help you master box jumps:
- Stand before the box, and from this position, squat down to jump onto the box with both your feet. To increase the intensity, you must do the same using one leg.
- Lift your arms to gain momentum as you jump.
- Jump up and off the box and land gently with bent knees.
- Repeat 8 to 12 times in 2 to 3 sets each.
If you wish to target your upper body muscles with plyometric exercises, burpees are one of the best options.
- Bend your legs and come to a squat position from a standing position.
- Keeping your spine straight, jump your feet back into a plank position with your hands placed on the floor.
- Complete one push-up by lowering your chest towards the bottom.
- Return to squatting work by jumping your feet forward outside your hands.
- Jump up explosively as you lift your arms over your head.
- Repeat 12 times for 2 to 3 sets each.
Follow these few easy steps to master the jumping lunges plyometric exercise:
- Stand with your feed shoulder-width apart.
- Jump into a lunge with your left leg forward and right leg backwards, keeping both your knees at an angle of 90 degrees.
- Jump up to switch your legs midair such that you land with your right leg forward.
- Repeat for 2 to 3 sets, 12 times each.
If your goal is better stability, agility and strength while changing directions quickly when playing any sports, truck jumps are excellent preparation for your body.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Jump up as high as you can as you bend your knees and try to bring them up towards your chest.
- Complete 2 to 3 sets of 12 reps each.
The following steps will help you perform the plyometric exercise bounding:
- Stand with your feet together.
- Jump out and forward, pushing off your left foot as you land on your right foot.
- Now repeat the same with the right foot.
- Repeat the same for 2 to 3 sets of 12 reps each.
Benefits Of Plyometric Exercises
In the previous sections, we have looked at the best plyometric exercises, and we know that these exercises help improve your speed, endurance and strength. Let us now list down the other benefits of plyometric exercises.
- Plyometric training helps improve muscle strength, which enables you to run faster, jump higher, and change your direction quickly to excel in any sport that involves running, jumping, or kicking.
- These exercises improve your agility, stability and balance, which allows the muscles to move more efficiently.
- Plyometric exercises help strengthen connective tissue and increase elasticity and resilience.
- Plyometric exercises tone the whole body, burn calories and boost metabolism.
- When performed the right way, these exercises help prevent injury.
- Improving cardiovascular health and stamina are also some benefits of regular plyometric training.
- You do not need any equipment or props for plyometrics.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do plyometrics require special equipment, or can they be done without props?
Plyometric exercises do not require any special equipment, and they can be done anywhere. No props are needed to perform these exercises.
2. Can plyometric exercises help with weight loss and calorie burning?
The intense exertion caused by plyometrics helps boost metabolism, which helps with weight loss and calorie burning.
3. Which age group should do plyometric exercises?
Plyometric exercises are suitable for all age groups. Still, it is always good to start at a young age, between 10 and 13, to develop the performance attributes that will help you excel in your athletic journey in the later years.