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If You Can Only Do One Workout Routine This Year, Do Plyometrics

Box jumps and squat jumps and burpees, oh my!

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Easy Plyometrics Workouts & Routines 2024

I’ve been working out since I was 12 years old when my dad bought the family a California Gold 2000 weight system.  I was certain this was going to get me looking like the fitness models I saw in the Calvin Klein ads (some could say I appreciated a good physique at a young age).

Pumping iron served it’s purpose because at the time I had developed a rather nice muscle definition even in junior high school but as I got older, and a little bit more of a perfectionist, I became unhappy with my lower half. I had big legs but I wanted a more solid, firm ass and a more defined trunk. This is why six years ago, I incorporated something into my workout that I now couldn’t do without. I’m talking about Plyometrics.

What is Plyometrics?

Plyometrics are exercise movements that are short and explosive, exerting all of your effort in each movement and entering into a new level of power! Plyometrics are mostly done in the lower plane of your body where the legs and core are worked to their limit.

What Plyometrics is Good For

While is seems like there are endless reasons to go the plyometrics exercise route, here are some of the top things it can really be good for:

  1. Improved Power: Plyometric exercises, like jumps and hops, help increase muscle power by enhancing the ability of your muscles to produce force rapidly. This is particularly beneficial for athletes who play sports like basketball, volleyball, and sprinting, where explosive power is key.

  2. Enhanced Athletic Performance: Plyometrics can improve your performance in various sports by boosting your agility, speed, and coordination. The rapid muscle contractions involved in plyometric exercises mimic the movements required in many athletic activities, leading to improved sport-specific skills.

  3. Increased Strength: While plyometrics primarily focus on speed and power, they also contribute to strength gains, especially in the lower body. Exercises like box jumps and squat jumps engage multiple muscle groups, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, leading to overall strength development.

  4. Calorie Burn and Fat Loss: Plyometrics are intense and metabolically demanding, leading to a high calorie burn both during and after the workout due to the after-burn effect (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).

  5. Time Efficiency: These workouts can be relatively short but highly effective due to their intensity. Incorporating plyometrics into your routine allows you to achieve significant fitness gains in a shorter amount of time compared to traditional strength training methods.

Most Popular Plyometrics Exercises

Again, there are plenty of choices, but these are my top favorites and ones that I plan out for my clients.

Classic Box Jumps

Begin by standing in front of a sturdy box or platform, feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and hips into a quarter squat position, then explosively jump upwards, swinging your arms for momentum. Land softly on the box with both feet simultaneously, ensuring full foot contact. Absorb the impact by bending your knees and hips, then step down carefully.

Squat Jumps

Plyometrics Jump Squats

Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, then lower into a squat position by bending your knees and pushing your hips back. From this squat position, explosively jump upwards, extending your hips and knees fully. Swing your arms for momentum. As you land, immediately lower back into the squat position and repeat the movement. Jump squats target multiple muscle groups, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, while also improving cardiovascular fitness and explosive power.

Glute Hamstring Raises

Plyometrics Glute Hamstring Raises

Begin by kneeling on a soft surface, with your feet anchored or held by a partner. Keeping your torso upright and core engaged, slowly lower your body forward by bending at the knees, controlling the movement with your hamstrings. Lower your torso until you’re close to the ground, then push back up to the starting position using your glutes and hamstrings.

Vertical Death Jumps

Plyometrics Vertical Death Jumps

Begin in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Lower into a squat position by bending your knees and pushing your hips back. Explosively jump upward as high as you can, tucking your knees towards your chest at the peak of the jump. Land softly on the balls of your feet, absorbing the impact with bent knees. Immediately transition into the next jump, aiming for maximum height and power with each repetition.


Plyometrics Burpees

Begin in a standing position, then lower into a squat and place your hands on the ground in front of you. Kick your feet back to assume a push-up position, perform a push-up if desired, then quickly return your feet to the squat position. From there, explosively jump upwards with arms extended overhead. Land softly and immediately lower back into the squat to begin the next repetition.

Lateral Heisman’s (my favorite!)

Lateral Heisman’s (my favorite!)

Start by standing with your feet together and arms bent at your sides. Then, leap laterally to one side, bringing your knee up towards your chest while extending the opposite arm out to the side, mimicking the motion of a football player dodging defenders. Land softly on the foot opposite to the direction you jumped, immediately spring back to the starting position, and repeat the movement to the opposite side. Aim for a fluid and explosive motion, engaging your core for stability.

The Plan: How Much & How Often

When performing plyometric exercises, your body is working at a higher 80 – 90% of your personal one-rep max. This is important to understand where you will sometimes only be able to properly perform 2-6 reps of a certain movement. Remember, proper balance and stability is crucial to avoid injury in joints during high – intensity lower body movements such as these.

Incorporating 30 – 45 minutes of Plyometric training into your current routine 1-2 times per week will indeed increase your stamina, balance, flexibility, power, and give you that hard, round butt and defined trunk that everyone strives for.