What are plyometrics? How can they help you and what to watch out for! Plus some exercises to get you started!
Ok, so what am I talking about? Plyometric exercises are moves that focus on increasing your speed-strength (or power). They are also known as explosive exercises and these are particularly useful for those who play explosive sports e.g. netball, rugby, football etc that involve start/stopping.
I found plyometrics was a great way to reduce my risk of injury when I was losing weight as it was building up my strength as well as improving my muscle strength/power. Additionally, I find it particularly useful for keeping up with my opponent and dodging at netball (WA, GA’s should take note as these exercises will help you “burst” off of the centre line). If you are looking to improve or increase your explosive power then plyometrics is for you, incorporate them into a well-rounded routine and you’ll be on to a winner.
*Note: Plyometrics are hard work so they are not for the faint-hearted and come with their own set of risks (see below)*
1. You MUST make sure you have the proper form for these exercises, it can cause deficits, strains and injury if regularly performed incorrectly.
2. Pay particular attention to landing correctly as well, since most of these exercises involve you jumping and landing their is an increased risk of landing poorly and causing strain or injury.
3. With plyometrics, it is better to do fewer repetitions properly than more repetitions poorly
Ensure you don’t let your knee past your toes.
Try to straighten your legs during the jumping phase.
Land on the opposite leg
Straighten your legs during the jumping phase
Ensure you don’t tilt forward with your upper body (try sticking your bum out further if you are struggling)
Ensure your knees don’t bend past your toes
Start in a crouch and push up and out
If it is too hard at first just bed at the knees slightly
Single Leg Jumps
Keep your landing leg slightly bent to avoid knee injury
Push up through your feet to get the most from this move (Be Explosive)
Explosive movements are best
Build up the height of the box slowly as this move has more risk potential
You can choose to bring your knees in front of your chest or tucked underneath you (as shown)
Land with slightly bend knees to minimise injury risk
Make it easier: Add an extra hop in between
To make this exercise harder, make the object taller (therefore a higher jump)
Ensure you land on both feet to avoid twisting ankles
The harder variation is known as “Clap press-ups” (for my American readers it’s known as a push-up, but they are the same thing) but if you find them too hard just try to get off the floor
This is essentially a weighted ball that is thrown to increase strength, power and usually for muscle rehabilitation. They are particularly useful in upper body plyometrics because they provide weighted resistance to increase the power used to exert. These usually require a partner so are not a part of my usual routine. A few ways to use them are:
- Chest passes (netball style is great)
- Sit up throws
- Standing Twists
They are quite useful as a fun alternative to weights and are multi-functional so I think they it is worth getting one. Here’s an Affiliate Link* to the one I have (2kg) but there are other weights and options too:
How to incorporate Plyometrics into your routine?
I usually devote an entire workout session to plyometrics but I mix it up by turning it into a HIIT workout. An example of one of my plyometric sessions is:
Single Leg Jumps – 30 Secs – 1 Min
Burpees – 30 secs
Jump Squats – 30 secs – 1 min
Mountain Climbers – 30 secs
Explosive Stars – 30 secs – 1 min
Tuck Jumps – 30 secs – 1 min
Rest 2 mins
Here’s a pinnable version of this workout too (You’re Welcome)
*Always consult with a doctor or healthcare professional before undertaking any new exercise regimes*
*For more info on my affiliate links and what this means visit my Disclosure Page