Are you jumping for joy this spring? My family and I are outdoorsy folk and we love to play, jump and frolic outside – and being in the open air is a great place to knock out a quick workout. Considering this, a great activity to do outside, to enjoy the beautiful weather, is plyometrics!
Benefits of Plyometrics:
- improved sport oriented skills
- improved general athleticism
- stretching of muscles
- improved strength, agility and balance
- great cardio/strength training option
Plyometrics simply defined is performing a repeated movement quickly in short intervals that stretch and workout the muscle, a great example would be the classic jumping jack. The way I add plyometrics in my regular workout is pick a movement to begin with (like jumping jacks) to get my heart going and body warmed up before I start lifting weights. However that being said a series of plyometric movements performed back to back can be a workout enough.
related: How to Squat Like a Pro
5 Plyometric Movements to get you started:
- Jump Squat
- Jump Rope
- Jumping Jacks
- Box Jumps
Let’s Go Through Box Jumps Step by Step:
Use a solid wide box, or several solid boxes lined up together.The height of the box may vary, but should be in the region of 12 to 30 inches. Begin the pose, standing upright with your feet shoulder-width apart in front of the box. Hold your core strong to keep your spine stable.
- Quickly drop down into a squatting position and jump onto the box, landing softly on the balls of your feet in a squat position.
- Jump off the box onto the ground, landing softly on the balls of your feet in a squat position.
- Jump onto the same or next box, keeping the feet touch-down time on the ground as short as possible.
Repeat for one to three sets, allowing for full recovery between each set.
related: 5 Reasons to Start Stretching
How to apply plyometrics to your workout:
Personally, I use plyometric movements as dynamic stretching and warm ups; I usually keep it as simple as hopping around for a couple of minutes. Hopping (or jumping) is uncomplicated and effective, with your feet close together or shoulder width apart hop forward and back, then side to side. A couple of minutes of hopping will get your heart going and your body conditioned to perform a more complicated exercise.
But don’t limit polymetrics just to warming up! They have tremendous benefits (major calorie burn) for your body when performing them as a series of movements for a longer duration of time. Try the exercises mentioned in today’s post for a series of one to three sets of 10-15 reps. I promise, you’ll feel the burn and your body pumping!
If you want to start slow, begin with something simple like jumping jacks and then progress to something harder like a burpee. If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to comment here and as always thank you for reading and cheers to your good health!
Disclaimer: Before starting any new diet and exercise program, please check with your doctor and clear any exercise and/or diet changes with them before beginning. I am not a doctor or a register dietician and do not claim to be so. The opinions and experiences I share are my own.