You don’t have to look far to see videos of fitness peeps joyfully hopping, leaping and bounding. It makes a person want to jump right in! Adding spring to your workouts can be a game-changer. Plyometric training can help you improve speed, power and agility.
A plyometric movement is any “springy” exercise that requires you to exert maximal force to accelerate against gravity. It also involves exerting muscular control to safely decelerate when landing. Plyometrics can involve the lower body or the upper body.
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It’s important to remember that your muscles, tendons and ligaments must be prepped for plyo. This means you should take the time necessary (maybe months) to develop elasticity in your tendons and muscular integrity around your joints before adding intense bouts of high impact plyometrics into your fitness routine.
A productive plyo movement is only as good as its landing. When jumping, a heel-to-toe take-off is best. When you hit the ground, let your midfoot land before dropping your heel. The minute you feel your form failing, stop! Think quality over quantity to avoid injury.
These 3 Plyometric Sequences Will Make You Powerful!
You’ll do a low impact lead-up to each plyometric movement.
1) Box Jumps
Low Impact Lead-up: 30 Calf Raises & 10 Squats
Box Jumps: Stand in front of a plyo box. Bend your knees, swing your arms and jump onto the box landing heel to toe with soft knees. Step off the back. Do 5-10.
Low Impact Lead-up: 30 Step Touches (Step side-to-side, right/left.)
30 Short Bounds: Add bounce and speed to the step touch so you leap to the side.
15 Long Bounds: Slow things down and try to increase the distance you cover.
3) Ski Jump
Low Impact Lead-up: 15 Narrow Stance Squats. Stand with your feet together and squat. Press through your heels and swing your arms.
10 Ski Jumps: Do the narrow squat, but add power! Push through your legs so you spring up and hop to the side. Land softly and freeze momentarily before swinging and springing to hop the other direction.
4) Forward Leap/Long Jump
Low Impact Lead-up: 10 Long Stride Walk-ups. Imagine you are walking over a huge puddle. Take two strides, right/left, to get over the puddle. Walk back to start and stride forward left/right.
10 Long Leaps: Add spring to your long stride to hop over the puddle right/left, then left/right.
5 Long Jumps: Clear the “puddle” with a two-footed long jump. Start in a squat. Swing your arms to spring forward.
5) Clapping Push-up
Low Impact Lead-up: 15 Push-ups on your knees.
5 Plyo Push-ups: Add spring by pressing your hands into the ground on the downward phase and blocking through your shoulders on the way up . Clap when you get to the top of the movement.
5 Plank Plyo Push-ups: Try it in a full plank.