Plyometric Workouts at Home: The How-To Guide

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Each contact with the ground is additional stress and impact on your joints and your entire musculoskeletal system. Decide on the number of sets to do based on the number of contacts. Beginners should have no more than 40 contacts per session, which typically equates to about a minute plyometric workout. Experienced athletes, such as professional football players, may build plyometric workouts with as many as contacts per session.

Keep in mind that you're focusing on the quality of your movements and doing them with speed. A plyometrics workout is not intended to be an endurance exercise, so your circuits likely will be very brief. Do cluster sets. Particularly if you're doing plyometrics exercises, cluster sets can improve your performance.

Cluster sets involve doing a larger number of sets with fewer repetitions — typically between three and five — in each set.

1. Front Box Jump

Fewer repetitions means you can reach and maintain your maximum, whereas with more repetitions your maximum height would decrease due to muscle fatigue. If you're doing cluster sets, you'll want to allow a longer rest period between sets, unless you're also doing supersets in which you follow an upper-body exercise immediately with a lower-body exercise. Follow each session with a cool down. The shock of a plyometrics workout demands a five to ten minute cool-down to help your body readjust.

Include cardiovascular cool-down as well as stretching within your normal range of movement. Static stretches are more appropriate for cool-down than for warm-up, as they help your muscles relax. An effective cool-down can help prevent lactic acid build-up and reduce the risk of muscle strain or injury, as well as allowing your heart rate to return to its normal resting rate.

Consult your doctor.

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Plyometrics are advanced exercises commonly used by professional athletes interested in taking their power and speed to the next level. If you don't have an extensive sports and strength-training background, you risk serious injury. Plyometrics workouts can put intense stress on your joints, particularly your knees or ankles — especially if you don't have significant strength in the muscles and tendons surrounding those joints to absorb the shock. An orthopedic screening will ensure your body structure and posture are strong enough to do plyometrics.

You also may want to have a physical therapist evaluate you before you start a plyometrics workout, particularly if you have joint weakness or have previously had an injury to your knees or ankles. Keep in mind that if you're not ready to do a full plyometrics workout, you still can integrate occasional plyometrics exercises into your regular workout routine for variety. Identify your goals. While plyometrics can help you increase your coordination and agility as well as build your reactive strength, these aren't really general conditioning or strength-training exercises.

Typically plyometrics are added to a workout program for a specific reason, such as to improve performance in a particular sport. If you want to improve your performance in a particular sport, choose movements in your plyometrics workout that closely mimic the same movements you make while playing that sport. For example, if you're a baseball player and want more explosive throwing power, you want to focus on upper-body plyometrics.

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However, tennis players may use plyometrics exercises to improve their ability to move side to side and make quick changes of direction. Work with a certified trainer. While you may be able to find simple plyometrics workouts to do online, the best plyometrics workout will be individually tailored to your skill level and fitness goals. A certified trainer with experience in plyometrics can help you achieve this. Be prepared to explain your goals and describe your overall fitness level so the trainer can recommend movements that match your strength and skill.

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The trainer may want to give you a reactive strength test, which will measure your current reactive strength so the trainer can help you design a program that will increase it. Spend several months in strength training.

Plyometrics Exercises for Beginners - How to Get Started

The creator of plyometrics recommends that anyone beginning this regimen should be able to squat at least 1. While there are lighter workouts without these requirements, strong muscles are essential to absorb the shock of jumps and cushion your joints. Even though plyometrics is not an endurance exercise, you still need general endurance. In just a few minutes, you'll be pushing muscle groups repeatedly into fatigue.

Cardiovascular endurance is essential to avoid over-stressing your body. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Warnings Don't attempt to do plyometrics workouts every day, or even every other day. Next question: How can you get started with some plyometric workouts of your own? Remember, more reps is NOT your goal.

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Jeffrey T. But these exercises aren't just meant for serious athletes; even weekend warriors can add plyometrics to their workout routine to reap impressive benefits. Plyometrics are movements performed rapidly where there's a quick stretching of the muscle followed by a forceful contraction. Some examples include jumping rope, throwing objects like a baseball, and kicking like in martial arts.

Before adding plyometrics to your workout, make sure you have a solid base of strength and fitness. These are advanced movements that could increase your risk of injury if you're not conditioned. After a few weeks of basic strength training, you can consider adding plyometrics for improved sports performance and increased fat-burning.

If you've never done them before, consider working with an experienced trainer. Complete 4 sets, performing the exercises as a circuit. Do each exercise for 45 seconds, resting for 15 seconds between exercises. Squat Jack 3. Speed Skaters alternative: Curtsy Squat 4. Lateral Thrusters 5. Rest or Shadow Box for 60 seconds.