Plyometrics: Jump! Jump!

November 27, 2009 // Al Kavadlo

Plyometric Push-up

Plyometric Push-up

You might not know what plyometrics are yet, but there’s a good chance you’ve already done them at some point.

The term plyometrics refers to explosive types of movement that involve speed and power. Sometimes plyometric exercises are also referred to as “jump training.” Jumping rope is an example of a low intensity plyometric exercise, while depth jumps and plyo pistol squats are examples of advanced plyometrics.

But don’t think that means plyometrics are limited to your legs! The jumping push-up (often accompanied by clapping) and the kipping pull-up are two examples of upper body plyometrics.

Plyometric training is great for athletes (serious or recreational) because sports typically involve dynamic movements. Practicing these types of movements in a controlled setting like the gym often carries over into improved performance in sports and other activities.

Land with your knees bent

Land with your knees bent

The box jump is one of the most fundamental plyometric drills. Many types of athletes do box jumps to build power and increase their vertical leap.

Start by standing in front of a sturdy box or step (most gyms have plyo boxes or you can do them outdoors with a ledge or step). Squat down and jump up out of your squat position onto the box.

When you are doing plyometric jumps, make sure that you land with your knees bent in order to absorb the shock. Try to rebound from one rep right into the next.

Plyometric exercises allow you to take advantage of the elasticity of your muscles to get more milage out of each rep.

Watch the video clip below to learn more about plyometric training: