Plyometric Training: 5 Moves That Really Burn Calories
About Plyometric Training
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Plyometric work involves a rapid acceleration followed by a quick deceleration. This could be with or without weights. The simplest form of a plyometric exercise is a jump. There are also advanced lifting techniques that implement this fast-acting acceleration and deceleration pattern without having to leave the ground. During plyo work your muscles exert at maximum force in a short period of time. The main goal is to pick up both speed and power during each exercise.
The Plyo Circuit
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- Loaded Back Squats - Box Jumps - Traveling Lunges - Jump Rope - Bear Crawls - Repeat 3 to 5 times.
Loaded Back Squats: 6 to 8 reps
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Your first rep is more of a warm up. Using little weight, do 12 reps with the bar. Add more weight for the next round. With the added weight, shoot for eight reps. If you can only do six, then you've found your max. Stick to it until you can do eight repetitions. If you're not comfortable using weights, then start with 20 bodyweight squats. Add five more squats every round.
Box Jump: 20 reps
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Stand about a foot away for a step or box, keep your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees in a half squat, and swing your arms down and back behind your hips. Then jump up and forward, swinging your arms in front and above your head. Using your arms will not only engage your core, but also propel your body higher with less effort from the legs. Alternatives: Try 40 squat jumps. Or, do tuck jumps—about 20 of those should do the trick.
Traveling Lunges: 16 reps
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Grab either kettlebells or dumbbells. Start standing with your feet together and pull your shoulders back and down away from your ears. Lift one knee up high, lean forward, and shift your body weight until you're falling forward. Catch yourself with that front leg and gradually absorb the shock of the landing. You're now in a lunge. Transfer the weight to the front leg, bring that back knee up, and repeat on the other leg. Take eight steps forward, turn around, and then take eight steps back.
Jump Rope: 100 reps
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Keep your weight on your toes. Don't let your knees bend too far passed your toes. Keep your elbows close to your rib cage and flick your wrists. Begin to do little hops. Remember, you're jumping over a rope that's less than half an inch thick. Time it right and you won't have to jump high at all.
Bear Crawls: 16 steps
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Start in a modified plank position; your knees hover an inch off the floor and your shins are parallel to the ground. Begin to crawl forward; extend your right hand out as you bring your left leg and then switch, left hand out and right leg in. Keep your hips low and try your best not to let them sway—your hips and shoulders should stay square to the ground. Take eight steps forward, spin around keeping your hips low and chest parallel to the ground, and take eight steps back.
Take a Break and Then Repeat
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Take a 1 to 2 minute rest before you begin your next round. Remember to use more weight when you do your loaded back squats, unless you've hit your max. If you've opted to do bodyweight squats, increase your reps by five. Do the same number of box jumps, lunges, jump-rope reps and bear crawls. Try to complete the circuit at least three times. If you're feeling beastly, do this circuit five times.