Plyometric exercises are a set of moves that elevate your workout routine to a complete new level. As it involves rapid stretching and contracting of muscles, these Plyo exercises help you to burn fat, improve speed and strength, and boost muscular power.
This is a kind of jumping training exercises in which your muscles utilize maximum force which will enhance the efficacy of your sweat sessions.
Plyometrics are mainly used by trained athletes, martial artists, high jumpers, runners, army persons, etc.
So, let’s have a deeper look into this challenging form of workout.
How “Plyometrics” Come into Existence?
Let’s try to dig out its roots!
These strength training exercises are first made popular by Russian Olympians in the 1970s.
The term “Plyometric” was first coined by Fred Wilt (Former US Olympic Long Distance Runner).
During his warm-up on the field, he noticed Soviets doing different jumps as a warm-up before the competition. This is what made Wilt to believe that Plyometric exercises were one of the reasons the Russians were so competitive.
Later, Wilt paired with Michael Yessis (Soviet Biochemist and sports trainer) to promote Plyometrics. After so many experiments and tests, the duo introduced these new heart-pumping exercises to the world in 1984 by publishing a book called “Soviet Theory, Technique and Training for Running and Hurdling”
The “Shock Method”
It is an original version of Plyos which was created by Yuri Verkhoshansky (Russian Scientist).
In it, an athlete feels a “Shock” when drop down from a height. As a reaction of this shock, a forced acentric contraction build up which immediately switched to concentric contraction as the athlete jump upward.
The landing and takeoff in such depth jump training are executed in an extremely short span of time. It would be around just 0.1 to 0.2 second.
The Shock method is still popular among athletes involved in different sports like tennis, basketball, badminton, squash, volleyball, and football.
Who Should do “Plyos”?
As plyometrics exercises require the intense role of muscles coordination, balance, strength, and stability, it should be suggested for individuals with solid fitness base who are thinking to make their workout even more explosive and powerful.
But, what about beginners? What if you do not have a strong fitness base? Can beginners do Plyometrics?
“Yes”, but with cautions and under expert guidance.
You should not start practicing Plyos directly instead it would be much advisable to improve overall body posture, increase strength and stability first.
For this, you can start with Yoga. Regular practice of yoga gives you an incredible body posture, balance and stability.
Once you gain require strength and stability, you can start with three to four Plyo moves which you should perform two to four times per week. Make sure that you take 48 to 72 hours rest between Plyo sessions.
Note: Plyometric training is not recommended for those who are recovering from injuries.
14 Best Plyometric Exercises
Now, check out 14 different strength and speed boosting Plyometric exercises step by step. Below list is categorized into three different levels; beginner, intermediate and advanced.
Level 1 – Beginner
- Plyo Push-Ups or Clap Push-Ups
- Squat Thrusters
- Lateral Lunge Jumps
- Reverse Lunge With Knee-Up
- Box Drill Jumps
- Frog Squat Jump
- Long Jump
Level 2 – Intermediate
- Burpees + Tuck Jump
- Lateral Triple Jump
- Alternative Lateral Lunge Jumps
- Tuck Jumps
- Judo Roll + Jump
Level 3 – Advanced
- Kneeling Jump Squat
- Pistol Squat Roll + Jump
Why Plyos? Benefits of Plyometric Exercises
Athletes are practicing different variations of plyos to train themselves for maximum force production in short period of time.
Now, the question is that what are plyometric exercises are good for? Well, there are lots of benefits such as;
Regular practice of these bodyweight moves helps you to achieve an incredible speed without causing any damage to muscles.
Improve Strength and Power
The ultimate goal of plyometrics is to get an athletic physical power. And it does that successfully by strengthening your fast-twitch fibers.
Burn Excess Fat
If your goal is to burn calories then you should add plyos in your workout routine for fast results. As this high-octane training recruits multiple muscles to create explosive speed and energy which makes you shed some fab of your body.
Strengthen Your Full Body
Some Plyo moves engaged your full body muscles to execute the particular move in a right manner. An active involvement of all muscles groups keeps your body toned and well-tuned.
Best to Challenge your Body
If you are a regular gym goer then I am sure that you know the importance of introducing alternation to your regular workout routine. Yes, regular workout brings no improvements and this is where Plyometric exercises come in as the best alternative to challenge your body.
Improve the Reaction Time
If you are practicing plyos regularly then at one stage you will build an amazing balance between your mind and body. It will make your mind alert about the world around you and sends signals how effectively you should react to the actions happening around you. It will definitely improve your reaction time.
Besides these, plyometrics are beneficial for your heart health, improve agility, boost overall health, increase stamina and the list go on and on.
Precautions to Follow
Learn the Landing Technique
As of now, you understand it very well that these exercises are like different variations of jumping training and thus your feet play an important role in it. Thus, you should keep it very light on your feet by mastering the landing step.
Smooth landing helps you to prevent injuries.
Don’t Forget Warm Up
Warming up your body is advisable before any strenuous exercises to avoid any damage to your muscles.
Before your workout try to warm up by simply doing walking, running, some light stretching for 5 to 10 minutes and then you are good to go for hardcore moves.
Rest is Best
If you are new to such speedy and strenuous moves then don’t overdo it. Try to take rest between two exercises and take days off between two sessions.
Ideally, 2 training sessions a week would be fine.
It makes your body ready for the next challenge with required energy and zeal.
In brief, plyometric exercises work best for legs and upper body effectively if done correctly. Such explosive moves should be performed with precautions to avoid injuries.
Hope this article helps you to find a perfect way to energize your workout to the next level.