Elevate Your Workout with Plyometrics

When folks hear the term “plyometrics,” they think jumping. While this isn’t wrong, it’s only one example of plyometric training. There are many movements and drills that can be termed plyometrics, but for an exercise to truly fit that label, there are a few factors to consider—specifically, force and time.

What Are Plyometrics?

“Plyometrics involves exerting maximum force in a short amount of time.”

This simple definition means these movements must be done with intensity and speed. That said, lazy jumps onto a box don’t equate to plyometric training. The goal with these explosive movements is to improve your power.

Where Do Plyometrics Fit into Your Workout?

Part of the routine: You could perform a strength movement like a squat, and then follow that up with explosive jump lunges. This method is known as “Contrast Training” or “Post Activation Potentiation.” This is when a muscle group is able to produce more force due to its recent contraction. Performing a heavy strength movement “turns on” the muscle and therefore, is more active and prepared for the explosive movement to follow.

Stand-alone section of a whole workout:
Consider adding a separate plyometric section to your workout. For example, you could complete a dynamic warm-up, then two plyometric movements for three rounds and then move on to the strength training or cardio training you had planned.

Short interval workout: If you’re looking for a quick 15 to 20 minute full-body blast, you could put four to five plyometric exercises together into an efficient and effective routine.

Plyometric training is not just for the lower body. Here are three lower and three upper body movements that you could combine in a quick routine:

About the Author

Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC

Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is a fitness professional and the founder of DB Strength in San Diego. He is also the head strength and conditioning coach for Alliance Training Center where he works with many top professional MMA athletes. Visit www.dbstrength.com for more information.

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