Plyometrics: An Alternative to Strength Training

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Plyometrics is a type of shock training or jump training that originated in Russia 40 years ago. Dr. Yuri Verkhoshansky developed the principle of plyometrics. Dr. Verkhoshansky observed how Olympians seem to develop more power after coming out of a higher altitude landing. And from there on, he developed a workout that stretch the muscles more effectively than a normal jump. This workout is deemed as a fun alternative to strength training. You can tone the body; achieve power and agility without using weights.

In general, plyometrics involves a lot of depth jumps and depth drops. It’ll require hops, squats, and one-leg hops. You’ll have to perform these exercises over an elevated surface, over objects, etc. plyometrics requires a faster pace to increase intensity. The quicker pace helps increase muscle strength and power.

Plyometrics training increases vertical leap and boosts sprinting times. Because the movements do not require straps or other gym equipment, you can easily integrate this workout to your existing fitness routine. Plyometrics makes every movement explosive. Studies show that individuals who combined weight training with plyometrics workout increased their vertical jump height.

That said, you shouldn’t do plyometrics every day. The intensity of the workout could cause muscle soreness, increasing the risk of injuries.

Plyometrics Workout for Beginners

Jump Squats

This workout will tone the legs and glutes. Start by standing straight, feet hip-distance apart. Lower yourself into a squat position but keep the arms bent and the hands in loose fists. Push the hips back, shift the weight on the heels. Push off the balls of your feet and then jump. Land on the balls of your feet, that’s one rep. Do as many as you can in 45 seconds then rest for 15 seconds.

Push-Up and Pop-Ups

Start by going into a high plank position. Keep the hands directly under the shoulders, extend the legs. Now lower yourself into a pushup, pressing back to the starting position. Then, jump by keeping the feet forward. The feet should be behind the hands. Shift the weight forward then jump the feet back to the plank position. Again, do as many as you can for 45 seconds then rest for 10 seconds.

Lunges and Hops

Start by standing straight with the feet together. Place the hand on the hips and take a big step with your right foot. Lower yourself into a lunge position. Now rise up by bringing the right knee forward then jumping. Bring the right knee to hip level as you jump. Land on the left foot then step the right leg back into a lunge. Again, do as many as you can for 45 seconds then rest for 10 seconds. Then, switch to the other leg.

Jumping-Jack Planks

Begin by doing the high plank position. Activate the abdominal muscles by pulling in the abs tight. Keep the body pin straight from head to heels. Now, jump with your feet out wide then back together. Land softly on your toes. Do as many as you can in 45 seconds then rest for 15 seconds.

Mountain Climbers

Again, do a high plank position and activate the abdominal muscles. Without rounding the back, bend your left knee. Pull the left knee close to the chest. Then, quickly extend the left leg back to the starting position. Do the other side. Continue shifting between legs as fast as you can for 45 seconds.

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