Plyometric exercises are incredibly effective and efficient. Incorporating them into your workout routine will help you burn more fat and increase your cardiovascular fitness in a shockingly short amount of time, but you’ll sweat up a storm in the process!
For a closer look at exactly what plyometrics are, and some of the best exercises, keep reading for a dose of fitness inspiration.
Often abbreviated as “plyos,” plyometrics were once called “jump training.” These types of movements are dynamic — your muscles will contract and stretch as you do squat jumps and jumping jack planks, which quickly increases strength, power, and endurance.
Most plyometric exercises focus on the lower body, and you’ll develop powerful leg muscles when you incorporate plyos into your fitness routine. But, contrary to popular belief, you can also work your upper body. Here are some of the top plyometric exercises to try at home or in the gym.
For a whole-body workout that torches calories, try each of these exercises. Aim to work for 45 to 60 seconds before resting for 15 to 20 seconds.
Start with your feet hip-distance apart. Drop into a squat, keeping your weight on your heels and your chest up, with arms extended in front of you.
Jump by pushing off the balls of your feet, letting your hands naturally swing behind you. Land softly to keep your knees and other joints safe, and then repeat the movement.
You can do these from the floor or with a box (the box will make it easier). Stack your arms and hands underneath your shoulders, engage your core, and keep your legs straight.
Lower down into a pushup, and explosively push up at the bottom, like you’re trying to force the ground away from you. Some people even like to add a clap to the movement.
Stand with feet hip-width apart then step your right foot back, allowing the hips to sink down until you’ve formed right angles with both legs. With proper form, your left knee will be behind your left toe and your core will contract to help with balance.
Jump out of the lunge position, switching your feet in the process to bring the right leg to the front and the left leg back. Lunge again before doing another jump, which completes one rep.
Starting from a high plank position, maintain a straight line from the tip of your head to the bottom of your heels. To complete the exercise, jump your feet out and then back in as you land on your toes.
Using a weighted fitness ball or a plate, start from a standing position with your feet together while holding the weight at your chest. Jump your feet wide (past your hip-width) while pressing the weight out and in front of your chest. Bring the weight back toward your chest as you jump your feet back together.
You’ll complete the jumping motion one more time, but for the second half of the rep push the weight overhead using your shoulders. Bring the weight back to your chest as you jump back in and complete one full rep.
As you do these exercises, pay attention to how your body feels. Plyos can be hard on the joints, so stop an exercise if it’s causing you pain or discomfort.
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