Benefits of Plyometrics: Getting Started With This Fitness Form

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Are you looking to get fit fast? With the year’s end approaching, resolution time will be here before you know it. 

Why don’t you reap the benefits of plyometrics? This exercise form incorporates explosive movements to get your heart pumping and sweat flying. While you can add weights into the mix, you can get a full-body workout with no equipment at all. Here’s how to get started. 

What Are Plyometric Exercises? 

According to MedicineNet, plyometrics refers to any exercises that require you to stretch and contract muscle groups repeatedly and rapidly. Examples of such movements include jumping off the ground. 

As such, plyometrics help you build muscular strength and speed. They increase your reaction time, so if you have to move quickly to avoid a potential hazard, you have the necessary power and agility to do so. 

Athletes and those undergoing physical therapy often incorporate these exercises into their routine. However, anyone can reap the benefits of plyometrics. You probably perform some moves already — every time you play wastepaper basketball by throwing a wad at the can. 

Because of the high intensity of such workouts, experts don’t recommend them for beginners. However, you can start by adding one or two moves into your present workout repertoire and build up from there. 

The Ultimate Bodyweight Plyo Routine

If you want to start adding plyometrics into your routine, choose one or two exercises from the following list. Are you already hitting it hard in the gym? Try completing three rounds of each of the seven movements below to rev up the burn, no equipment necessary. 

1. Burpees

Burpees work your full body — which is why this move gets the sweat flying like few others. Start by standing with your feet hip-distance apart and your weight in your heels. Push your hips back into a squat while bringing your hands to the ground. 

With your palms on the floor, jump back into a plank position — the top of a push-up. Your body should form a straight inclined plane from your shoulders to your heels. 

Then, leap back up, placing your feet outside your hands. Finish with a jump, then return to standing. Repeat as many as you can. 

2. Speed Skaters 

You don’t only work the frontal plane — the part of your body separating it into front and back. For full-body training, you must incorporate lateral movements as well. 

Speed skaters sound like the move they resemble. From standing, hop to your side, balancing on the outside leg. Let your other leg swing up and behind naturally as if you were on ice. 

Then, hop to the other side. Swinging your arms helps you increase your distance and speed. Wear sturdy shoes to avoid overturning your ankle. 

3. Box Jumps 

Technically, you do need a bit of equipment for this move. However, if you don’t have a milk crate, you can use your stairs or even a tall curb. If you don’t have either of those, you can extend your arms in front of you and try to touch them with your knees as you leap vertically. 

From standing, bend down into a squat position and jump up to your landing. If performing this move without equipment, try to bring your knees to touch your hands with your arms extended straight from your shoulders — like a tuck jump in cheer. If you have a box or other item to stick your landing, add a small squat at the top to protect your knees. 

4. Single-Leg Hops 

It sounds a bit like a field sobriety test. However, hopping up and down on one leg is a plyometrics exercise. 

Transfer all your weight to one leg, and hop. Perform several reps before switching. If you want to test your coordination, you can add a jump rope into the mix. 

5. Broad Jumps 

Unlike box jumps, broad jumps test how far, not how high, you can go. You can use a yoga mat as your guide — see if you can work your way up to jumping the length of the mat. 

To execute this move correctly, you must start from a stationary standing position. Taking a running leap doesn’t count. You will automatically swing your arms behind you as you prepare for takeoff to give you extra oomph. 

6. Crocodiles

This movement draws inspiration from Ashtanga yoga. So do burpees, if you think about Surya namaskar A, or basic sun salutation, which you use to transition between movements in that ancient fitness style. 

Begin in a plank position. Here’s where it gets fun —try to get both your hands and feet off the ground as you hop forward for a count of five. Then, reverse, bouncing back for a five-count. Don’t worry if you resemble a flopping fish out of water rather than a reptile the first few times you try it. The move does become less awkward with practice, although it always gets your heart rate up. 

7. Clap Push-Ups 

Yes, plyometrics include the upper body as well. Get into a plank or push-up position. Bend your elbows to bring your chest to the floor. 

Then, as you push yourself up, explode, lifting your hands off the ground. Try to get strong enough to add a clap between each repetition. 

Reap the Benefits of Plyometrics and Build Explosive Strength 

If you want to build explosive strength, reap the benefits of plyometrics with the above program. You’ll discover you can get a thorough workout with little to no equipment. 

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