Plyometrics are a sure-fire way of boosting your speed and power. Whether you play team sport like football, rugby or cricket or are into running or just want a fun way of doing High Intensity Interval Training then plyometrics could be the solution.

What are plyometrics?Plyometric jumps

Plyometrics, also known as jump training or plyos, are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power.

Athletes often use plyometrics as part of their training, but anyone can do these workouts.

A typical workout involves doing a series of jumps and hops, like jump squats or one-leg hops.

You might jump up and onto a box or bench, or jump over cones. Some moves will be faster than others.

Every time you land from a jump, your muscles get a stretch. That gives your next jump even more power. The combination of stretching and contracting your muscles whips them into shape.

This is a good way of increasing the power and range of your stride when running or jumping height. As well as more traditional cardio sessions, plyometrics is a useful supplement to anyone wishing to improve speed and power.

Because of the explosive nature of the exercises you shouldn’t do them daily but include as one of the routines you might do in a typical week.

Areas targeted by plyometrics

Core: No. This workout doesn’t specifically target your core.

Arms: No. Most plyometric workouts don’t target your arms. But if you want to work them, you can add upper-body moves, like medicine ball throws and plyometric pushups.

Legs: Yes. Expect your legs to get in great shape from all the jumping and hopping.

Glutes: Yes. Moves like jump squats fire up your glutes to make them stronger.

Back: No. Though the workout involves your whole body, it’s not focused on your back muscles.

See some example exercises here:

Equipment needed

You just need a decent pair of trainers and an open space.

We do sell a solid plyometric box which can be adjusted for different jumping challenges – see plyometric box.

Also intensive skipping would do the job – see our adjustable skipping rope.

Whatever your goals, keeping your exercise programme fun, varied and challenging will help you succeed. Including plyometric jumps and exercises will boost your speed and power.

Further reading

Developing power in everyday athletes

Plyometric exercises

Photos by cottonbro from Pexels

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