Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.
Maybe you’ve heard of plyometric exercises… and then again, maybe you think “plyometric” sounds like some really expensive new machine that’s ultimately going to gather dust in the garage!
If you’re skeptical about “buying in” to something new, relax! Exploring plyometrics will cost you nothing. There’s no machine and no special gear required.
What Are Plyometric Exercises?
Plyometric exercises – also known as “plyos” – are a form of jump training. Athletes use plyometrics to train muscles to exert maximum force in a very brief period of time. Ultimately, plyometrics can increase power (speed-strength). Plyos can be beneficial for just about anyone who wants to build strength and burn calories. Plus, you probably already know some plyometric exercises and don’t even realize it!
6 Plyometric Exercises
- Jumping Jacks are a great plyometric exercise. Practice jumping jacks for 60 seconds. Make sure your heels come down to the floor with each jump.
- Tuck Jumps are another great lower body plyo. Stand with feet hip-width apart, then jump, pulling knees toward the chest. Both feet should leave the ground and return to the ground together.
- Burpees are a sure way to get your heart pumping. Begin by standing with feet together. Then, lower down into a deep squat, place hands on floor, and kick your legs out backwards into a plank position. Jump the feet back into their original position and fly out of your squat, leaping up with hands stretched directly up to the sky! Repeat 10-20 times.
- Clapping push ups will give your upper body a quick burst of energy. Begin by performing a regular push-up. Then, when raising yourself up away from the floor, push hard, giving yourself enough space to clap your hands before returning palms to the floor. Repeat 10 to 20 times.
- Broad jumps can help build serious leg strength. Assume a squat position, then harness all the energy you can to leap forward out of the squat. As soon as you land, immediately propel yourself forward into the next jump. Repeat for 5-6 jumps.
- Mountain climbers will work your legs and and abdomen! In a plank position, with your abs strong and engaged, pull one knee toward the chest (drawing power from your abs). Quickly return the leg back to plank and then pull the other knee in toward the chest. Repeat as quickly as possible (while maintaining strength and stability) for 30 to 60 seconds.
Schedule With a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor
For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.