Before going into details of the best plyometrics exercises, let’s start off by understanding what is Plyometrics? What are the benefits of the plyo exercises? Plyometrics is basically jump training.
It is high intensity, explosive, repetitive movements that work several muscle groups together at the same time (i.e. functional). It targets and improves 6 out of 10 of the General Physical skill: Speed, Strength, Stamina, Balance, Power and Agility. The aim of Plyometrics is to help the sport person to jump higher or further, to run faster, throw further and lift heavier. They enhance the performance of the athlete in their relative sport and reduce sports injuries. For instance, you can do Plyometrics to help train for Sprinting, basketball, volleyball, tennis, or any other activity that uses explosive movements.
Before you begin to add Plyometric exercises in your training, you should warm up properly and learn how to perform takeoff and landing mechanics to avoid any knee, ankle and hip injuries.
Here are some of the best Pylometrics workouts
1. Box Jumps
The Box Jump is one of the most-used plyometric exercises because it is very effective at increasing one’s vertical jump. It strengthens your quadriceps and glute muscles, which are essential for jumping.
- Place a plyo box in front of you.
- Get into a squat position with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Squat and explode up using your entire body, including your arms.
- Land softy on the box on the balls of your feet.
- Come to full hip and knee extensions
- Jump down/step down, reset yourself and repeat.
- You can either increase box height or add weight via weighted vest, barbell or dumbbells to increase the difficulty.
2. Barbell Squat Jumps/ Bodyweight Squat Jumps
This exercise adds weight to normal Bodyweight Squat Jumps, making it more difficult. When you perform a normal jump, it seems much easier and you can jump higher by increasing your explosive strength and power. Do not add so much weight that you are unable to perform a good jump.
- Set up a free-weight squat rack, adding weight to the barbell that allows you to perform 10 repetitions.
- Lift the barbell off the rack and get into a squat position with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Squat down and explode up, jumping off the ground.
- Land softly and immediately transition into your next rep.
3. Broad Jumps
Broad Jumps build true leg strength, they require you to perform a deep Squat to propel yourself forward as far as you can, using your quadriceps and glute muscles.
- Get into a squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Squat down deep and explode up, using your entire body to thrust yourself forward.
- Land softly on the ground and immediately transition into your next rep.
4. Split Jumps (Lunge Jumps)
This plyometric exercise is essentially a Jumping Lunge in place. Split Jumps increase adductor and glute muscle strength with the legs in a stretched position.
- Get into a standard lunge position, keeping your back straight and your knees and toes forward.
- Lunge down and explode up, switching leg positions in mid-air.
- Land softly and immediately transition to your next jump.
- Perform the same movement, switching your leg position each time.
5. Squat Jacks
Squat jacks are a lower-body power and strength exercise that target the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. The exercise also improves hip mobility and cardiovascular endurance. Squat Jacks are great for warm ups
- Standing with your feet close together and your hands clasped behind you head, push your hips back to get into a half-squat position.
- Jump your feet out to the sides, maintaining the squat position. Quickly jump your feet back to the starting position.
Stick to those plyometric workouts and the result is guaranteed.