By Jenevieve Roper PhD, CSCS (@JLynnFit)
Whether you’re looking to add more variety to your workout or increase your power and explosiveness, adding plyometrics to your routine is something you should do.
Plyometrics are meant to improve athletic performance by increasing speed and explosiveness to give you sharper cuts, greater breakaway speed, and higher jumps. Adding this circuit to your workout regimen is another way to increase your intensity and help you get shredded.
These are very explosive movements, so be sure to keep your reps and sets low. Shoot for three to four sets of six to 10 reps. Rest about two to three minutes between each set. Plyometrics are very taxing on your neuromuscular system, so make sure you keep your sets short but intense.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and lower into a squat position. Pause and jump explosively by extending your knees and leaping as high as you can. Land on both feet, allowing your knees to bend slightly. Reset and repeat.
Tip: Once you have advanced more in the exercise, you can perform squat jumps continuously (no pause) until you reach your desired reps.
Medicine Ball Slam
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a medicine ball. Extend your arms above your head. Once your body is fully extended, slam the ball as hard as you can onto the ground in front of you. Catch the ball on the bounce with both hands and repeat the movement.
Tip: As you slam the ball, keep your back straight, core braced, and drive your hips rearward.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart in front of a box. Lower into a partial squat. Explosively drive with your legs and jump up onto the box, landing with both feet. Stand up and step back down to repeat the exercise.
Tip: Start with the lowest box available and work up to greater heights as you become more advanced. If you land in a deep squat on the box, it may be too high.
Set up in plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart. Bend your arms to lower into a push-up. Explosively extend your arms as you push yourself off the ground. Your hands should briefly leave the ground. As you land, allow your elbows to bend slightly.
Tip: If you have difficulty, start the plank with your knees on the ground. Progress up to only hands and toes as you become more advanced.