Are you looking for ways to improve athletic performance, build muscle, and burn fat? Consider Plyometric Training! Referred to as exercises that exert your muscles at maximum potential in short spurts of time, plyometric exercise can be used by anyone—from the most serious athletes to the most casual gym-goers.
Plyometric? That’s a big, strange word. What does it mean?
Merriam Webster Dictionary refers to plyometric as “exercise involving repeated rapid stretching and contracting of muscles (as by jumping and rebounding) to increase muscle power”. Often, plyometrics can also be called “jump training” or abbreviated as “plyos”.
Got it. So What is Plyometric Training?
Excellent question! Plyometric exercise usually consists of high-impact, quick, intense movements such as running, throwing, and kicking. Sports that have explosive movements like tennis, volleyball, or basketball also use plyometrics. Because of the intense qualities of these exercises, it’s important that you use caution in not straining your muscles or joints too hard and to consult an experienced trainer if you feel that you need more training on how to do these exercises correctly.
How does Plyometric Training work?
Because plyometric training is composed of fast hop/jump movements, your muscles are forced to stretch when you explode and land. This continual stretching and tearing of your muscles are what causes your muscle tissue to build and repair itself, increasing your muscle mass and reducing your fat. These exercises are a bit different than strength training or cardio, so don’t feel the need to have to do them daily as it’s important that your muscles take breaks to recover.
What are the Benefits of Plyometric Exercise?
Because these kinds of movements push your body to stretch beyond its normal capacity, you are actively building muscle. Plyometrics can build muscle mass in nearly every part of your body! If you want to build muscle in targeted parts of your body, however, you can pick exercises specific to certain areas of your upper and lower body.
Increase Your Speed and Power
There’s a reason that Daft Punk’s song “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” became such a hit. We could claim it was plyometric exercise — because everyone wants to be faster and stronger. Repeating plyo actions allow your body to build stamina and increase your speed. That’s enough to make even Daft Punk jealous.
Burn Away Fat
Say bye-bye to those extra calories. These quick, powerful movements create muscle mass and help you to burn off body fat quickly. Gaining muscle and losing fat tend to go hand in hand, so you’ll be getting the best of both worlds.
Improves Overall Tone
Repeated stretching and landing force the muscles in your body to contract, which not only helps with overall muscle growth, but it gives that bow-chicka-wow-wow look that will turn heads.
Assists with Athletic Performance
If you’re an athlete, we have good news for you. Performing plyometric training exercises can significantly improve your athletic performance — from speed, strength, to force. But you don’t have to be an athlete to reap these benefits!
What are some examples of Plyometric Exercise?
The exercise we love to hate. Don’t let any flashbacks from high school athletic training get in the way of you trying these out again, they are very beneficial for you!
How to Do a Burpee
Stand with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart and assume a lowered squatting position.
Jump up explosively into the air while raising your arms over your head.
As you return from your jump, use that momentum to lower yourself to the floor, then do a push-up.
Rise from your push-up back into a standing squat position, and repeat these actions.
Do this 8-12 times, for 2-3 sets.
Push-Up with a Clap
Don’t worry, this isn’t as intimidating as it sounds (although it will be a killer workout!).
How to Do a Push-Up with a Clap
Begin in a plank position.
Lower your body to the ground and do a normal push-up.
Using the force from pushing against the ground, push yourself up enough that your torso is lifted slightly into the air.
Give yourself a well-earned high five (clap).
Return back to your original plank position.
Keep doing this action non-stop for 30 seconds, or a minute if you’re feeling brave.
Let’s stay safe out there.
It is recommended that plyometric exercise training be progressively built over time according to a 2015 study by the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. This is so that you can safely reap the benefits of these exercises without facing any injury or strain from overtraining. And if you need a place to try out these new fantastic plyometric exercises that you’ve just learned, our locations all over the U.S. are ready to welcome you in with open arms.