Have you ever wondered how NFL running backs such as Jonathan Taylor and Raheem Mostert can sprint as fast as they can? Or how ball players can have a vertical that launches them into space? Maybe you’re just looking for a way to develop explosive strength at the same time as improving your cardiovascular health.
Perhaps you want to do all of that and build the body of your dreams at the same time. If you’re not familiar with plyometric exercises, then let’s just start by saying “you should be”.
In this short guide, we’ll take a look at what are plyometric exercises and how you can get the best from them.
What Are Plyometric Exercises?
Plyometric exercises are often referred to as ‘jumping exercises,’ but they include any exercise that requires you to exert any number of muscles with maximum power for short bursts of time.
They were originally developed in Eastern Europe for athletes competing in the Olympics. As you can imagine, Olympic sports come in many different shapes and sizes, so how can plyometric exercises aid athletes over such a wide span of events?
Well, the answer lies in the many benefits of these powerful aerobic exercises.
The Benefits of Plyometric Exercises
The benefits of plyometric exercises aren’t limited to Olympic sports competitors and American football players. Plyometric exercises can benefit participants of just about any sport as well as casual exercise enthusiasts up to the most dedicated gym-goer.
Plyometric exercises are metabolically demanding, so they’re a great way to burn fat. This is because they recruit a large number of muscles in the body all at once. This also increases your heart rate, helping you to continue burning calories once you’ve finished your workout, as well as helping to improve your cardiovascular health. In that regard, they are similar to HIIT workouts after session metabolic boosts.
Plyometric exercises are high-impact. They ask a lot from your bones, joints and tendons. Before you start plyometric exercises you should have a basic level of fitness to ensure your body is conditioned for physical stress. However, once you start using plyometric exercises you’ll find that they’re a great way to strengthen your connective tissue as well as increase your bone density.
In addition to this, you’ll find that plyometrics are a great way to build lean muscle mass, improve your coordination, and develop functional fitness.
How to Incorporate Plyometric Exercises Into Your Workout
First of all, it’s important to ease yourself in. Plyometric exercises are demanding on the body so start gentle and build up gradually. Trying to do too much from the outset is a sure way to cause injury. You need to let your body adjust to the explosiveness and impact of the exercises. Too much too soon is a bad thing!
One of the best ways to incorporate plyometric exercises into your workout is to do them once you’ve properly warmed up but before any strength and conditioning exercises.
The reason for this is that plyometric exercises help to fire up the central nervous system and activate the muscles in the body. This can help to improve muscle recruitment during strength exercises such as squats, bench press, and deadlifts.
Example plyometrics include: Skipping, Jump Rope, Jump Squats, Lunges, Box jumps, and Burpees
Are You Ready to Add Plyometric Exercises to Your Fitness Routine?
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