Also known as “jump training,” plyometric exercises work your muscles much like springs: your build elastic energy and release it with explosive power, building strength and burning fat, all at once.
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Plyos are meant to be done as continuous exercises, with no rest in-between reps. With plyos, the tougher the exercise, the higher you jump and the faster you move, the more calories you’ll burn, with greater results.
You can incorporate the following moves into your existing routine, or create a fat-burning plyometric workout by doing each move for one minute, followed by 20 seconds of rest.
1. Squat Jumps
- Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart, elbows bent at 90 degrees in front of you, palms facing down.
- Bend at the knees to lower into a squat and immediately explode upward.
- Drive your knees up and toward your chest, attempting to make contact with your palms.
- Jump as high as you can and land lightly on your feet, immediately lowering into another squat to repeat.
2. Jump Lunges
- Start in a standard lunge, right foot in front, both knees bent at 90 degrees with your body weight evenly distributed between your front and back foot.
- Explode up from the lunge, using your arms for momentum, switching leg positions mid-air.
- Land softly with your left leg in front, lowering down into the lunge and immediately begin your next jump.
- Continue to repeat, switching your legs each time.
- The higher your jump, the easier it is to switch your legs.
- Start in a slight squat, both feet together.
- Transfer your weight to your right leg.
- Push off your right leg, jumping as far as you can laterally to the left.
- Land softly on your left leg and bring your right leg behind it into a curtsy lunge.
- Tap the right toe to the ground and immediately jump to the right to repeat on the opposite side.
- Stay low, keeping your legs bent at all times.
4. Burpees With Broad Jump
- Begin in a standing position.
- Keeping your chest up, drop into a squat as low as you can, placing both hands on the ground.
- Pop your feet back into pushup position.
- Bring the feet right back in, and jump as high and as far forward as you can.
- Land with soft feet and immediately lower down into another squat to repeat.
- These are for distance, so the farther you jump with each rep, the better. Do this move for a full minute, then move on to power skips.
5. Power Skips
- Leading with your right leg, skip, raising your right knee to hip height and simultaneously extending your left arm overhead.
- Land on the ball of your left foot; then step right and repeat the skipping motion with your opposite arm and leg.
- Start small, and try to jump a little higher and exaggerate your arms with each skip as you build your momentum, making sure to always stay in control. Skip for one minute.
- Start standing with your feet together, arms at your sides.
- Bend your knees and lift your left foot about six inches off the ground.
- Leap laterally to the left, landing on your left foot while simultaneously lifting your right foot off the ground and then bring your right knee to meet your left elbow.
- Repeat on the opposite side, leaping to the right, bringing your left foot off the ground to meet your right elbow.
- Once you’ve got it down, go for speed of movement and a longer lateral leap with each rep.
7. Box Jump
- Begin standing in front of a box, step, bench or another sturdy surface about two feet in front of you.
- Bend at the hips, knees and ankles to lower into a squat, and spring up, extending all these joints, using your arms for momentum to jump as high as you can, landing lightly on the balls of your feet on top of the box.
- You can either step down safely to repeat, or if you feel comfortable, jump backwards off the box, landing softly on your feet and bending your knees to absorb the impact and immediately repeat.
8. Lateral Box Jump
- The Lateral Box Jump is exactly like the box jump except you stand to the side of the box and jump laterally up onto it.
- Keep your knees soft and your touch light, and use your arms for momentum.
9. One-Leg Jump Drill
- Do these on stable land to avoid rolling your ankle.
- Place markers on the ground around you (if you’re at the beach, use leaves, rocks, or whatever else you’ve got).
- Place one marker a foot in front of you, one a foot behind, one a foot to the left and one a foot to the right.
- Begin standing in your right foot.
- Using only your right foot, jump forward, back, left and right, aiming for the markers.
- Don’t forget to repeat the exercise on the other leg.
10. Plyo Push-Ups
- Gotta get the arms into the mix, too, right? Start in push-up position, wrists directly underneath your shoulders.
- Flex through the elbows to lower the chest to the ground, keeping the rest of your body perfectly straight.
- At the bottom, explode through the elbows and hands to push your body high enough for your hands to leave the ground.
- Land on your hands and immediately flex through the elbows to repeat.
- If you can, try clapping your hands while airborne for more of a challenge.