Personal Plyometrics

Personal PlyometricsThe extra “oomph” that comes from the explosive movements in plyometrics can ramp up weight loss, build lean muscle, and increase strength and endurance. We’ll show you a few do-anywhere moves to incorporate plyo into your everyday routine.If you’ve read our previous articles on plyometrics and metabolic training, then you’re already aware of the benefits like increased calorie burn, muscle definition, and mild cardio cross training that these exercises provide. What you may be interested to learn is that adding plyo training to your fitness regimen is easier than you might think.

To qualify as a plyometric exercise, a movement must incorporate a quick, explosive period of action and a controlled, recovery period. That means a simple jump into the air counts as a plyo move. Repeat the jump with a slow, controlled knee bend in between each rep and you’re working both the fast-twitch and slow-twitch fibers present in your leg muscles. And this is what makes plyo so effective – the comprehensive workout as opposed to a focused one.

Incorporating plyo is simple. A great lower-body move you can even do in your suit is the shift-bounce. Standing with feet together, imagine a cross on the floor dividing a small area into four quadrants. Start in the lower left quadrant and quickly jump with both feet into another quadrant and then back again. Repeat in the same quadrant 10-12 times, rest, then repeat with a different quadrant until you have completed all quadrants. For the upper body, try wall presses. These are like standing push-ups that you complete by leaning against the wall at a 30-to 40-degree angle and falling toward the wall, controlling yourself with your arm strength. Once your chin touches the wall, push yourself off as hard as you can, aiming to return yourself to a full upright stand with only the power of that push. Then lean back into the wall to repeat. Try this for up to 10-15 reps without rest.

As you progress with these simple moves, start challenging yourself to incorporate more strenuous moves like jump lunges, jump squats, and medicine ball chest throws. Expect to see or notice real results quickly; that’s one of the best aspects of plyo.

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