The Power of Plyometrics

Plyometrics

I have a love-hate relationship with plyometrics. They are intense and challenging but the results are what keeps me doing them and keeps me adding them to all of my client’s workouts. I also use this technique in my 12 week online program – The Three Phase Program

Plyometrics, or plyos, are explosive movements that help to improve power and speed. This is a great technique to improve performance and athletic ability. If I have a client that comes to me and they are struggling to lose weight or size in their lower body (legs, glutes, hips) I alway recommend plyos. These powerful movements not only increase strength, without creating “bulk”, but they also burn some serious calories!

I will typically incorporate plyometric training into each of my workouts. For example – if my workout contains three supersets with three exercises in each superset, one out of three of those exercises will be a plyo move or I will perform a plyo in between each superset for a set amount of time. Here are my top moves for gaining strength, agility and power!

Jump Squats

1. Position your feet shoulder width apart. Keeping your back straight and chest up, inhale as you squat down until your upper thighs are parallel, or lower, to the floor.
2. Exhale pushing through the heels, and jump straight up in the air as high as possible.
3. When you touch the floor again, immediately squat down and jump again.

Box Jumps

1. Begin with a box of an appropriate height in front of you. Stand with your feet should width apart.
2. Perform a short squat in preparation for jumping, swinging your arms behind you.
3. Jump out of this position, extending through the hips, knees, and ankles to jump as high as possible swinging your arms forward and up.
4. Land on the box with the knees slightly bent, absorbing the impact through the legs.
5. Jump down from the box back to the ground, or step down one leg at a time.

Lateral Hops/Speed Skaters

1. Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold on to a medicine ball at chest level
2. Hop to the right by powering off your left leg and landing on your right foot while sweeping the left foot diagonally behind your right leg and swinging your arms and the ball across the body.
3. Repeat this motion to the opposite side.

Tuck Jumps

1. Begin in a standing position with your knees slightly bent. Hold your hands in front of you.
2. Lower down into a quarter squat, push through the heels and immediately explode upward. Drive the knees up towards the chest, attempting to touch them to the palms of the hands.
3. Jump as high as you can, raising your knees up, and then land with low impact by allowing the knees to re-bend.

Jump Lunges

1. Assume a lunge stance position with one foot forward with the knee bent, and the rear knee bent and nearly touching the ground. Be sure that the front knee does not pass over the front toes of the foot.
2. Pushing through both legs, jump as high as possible.
3. As you jump, quickly switch your legs in the air, and land back in the starting position now with the opposite foot forward.

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