The days are getting longer and the nights are getting shorter, Spring is on its way and we are ready to jump into the warmer weather… literally!
We’ve created this plyometric workout to crank your heart rate up, scorch calories and increase your strength and bone density.
Plyometric training is just the posh name for ‘jumping’. It takes effort to jump up and down right? Short bursts of intense exercise are what plyometrics are all about. This short, sharp and intense style of exercise is hard work – and it’s meant to be. High jumps + high heart rate = high calories burned.
Ready to jump in?
Before any workout it’s vital to warm up effectively. The warm up helps to increase your heart rate and limber up your muscles, preventing injury. It’s not one to miss. For this workout we recommend spending a minimum of 5 minutes doing some light cardio such as:
- Jumping Jacks
- Jogging on the spot
- Heel flicks
- Light run around the block
As long as you’ve got your muscles working and your heart rate up, you’ll be warmer and ready for the workout ahead.
With all plyometric exercises remember to land softly and if you’re indoors, consider your neighbours… or grab them to join you!
We’ve kept the workout simple by using a circuit style, so you’ll complete 45 seconds of each exercise, followed by 45 seconds rest, three times over. However, feel free to change up your work to rest intervals as you get stronger, add another round, shorten your rest, jump a little higher and feel that burn!
To complete a squat jump, sink down into your regular squat and then as you break parallel explode upwards using your arms to propel you higher as you jump up. Land in your squat with bent knees to help soften your landing.
Burpees with jump at the top
Burpee’s are tough, so we’ve thrown in a jump at the top, just to make you even tougher! Start by bringing your hands to the floor underneath your shoulders. Next jump your legs back into a plank and then back in towards your hands. From this position lift your arms up and straight jump with your arms up to the sky. Then hit the floor again and repeat, bounce, bounce, bounce.
Starting with your feet directly underneath your shoulders, swing your arms back and jump up, tucking your knees in front of you. Land softly and repeat.
For a long jump you are going to see how far you can travel from standing. No run up, just bend your knees and jump forward as far as you can, turn around and jump back. 45 seconds.
Plyometric push ups
Plyometric push ups are tough, but for those of you with less experience you can always complete the move off your knees. Start in the push up position (either a full push up or off your knees) sink to the ground as you would for a normal push up and then explode up and clap as your hands leave the ground. Plyometric push ups are all about timing as you need to have your hands back in the push up position before your nose meets the floor. Practice from your knees to build your confidence up for the real deal.
Skater jumps do what they say on the tin. You’re going to jump from side to side as though you were skating.
Plank pike jumps
Plank pike jumps are a great core exercise, with the added jump to ensure your heart rate stays up. Begin in the plan position, but rather than resting your forearms, plank with your hands directly under your shoulders. Engaging your core, jump both feet in towards your hands keeping your legs straight, so you hinge at the hips and your bum sticks up in the air. This is your pike position. Next jump your feet back to complete the move and return to your plank.
These ones are fun! Using your arms to give you can extra boost, swing your arms up and jump up as high as you can, bringing your legs up behind you so your feet are by your bum. Think Busted or High School Musical.
Alternating Lunge Jumps
For alternating lunge jumps, you are going to jump from lunging on one leg to the other. Start by taking one foot out in front and sinking to 90 degrees for your lunge. Now, jump upwards and swap which leg is in front as you land. Keeping lunging and swapping legs!
Once you’ve blasted out this circuit three times, you’ve completed our plyometric workout and earnt yourself a cool down.
Plyometrics are hard work, so you need to make sure you’ve cooled down properly.
Stretching will help to prevent muscle soreness and helps to gradually bring your heart rate back down.
A typical cool down could be around 5 minutes of walking followed by static stretching. Examples of static stretches include:
Chest stretch: Clasp your hands together behind your back and push your chest forward. Hold.
Shoulders/ Back / Hamstring stretch: Reach your hands over your head in front of you and extend as far as you can whilst bending at the waist. Now bring the hands down to touch your toes, stretching the hamstrings. Gentle bring your head back up.
Quad stretch: From standing, bend one leg so that your toes are tucked up by your bum. Squeeze your knees together and pull your foot into your bottom using your hand, you should feel the stretch pull across the front of your leg – the quad.
By Vicky Gardner, writer at www.sundried.com