How To Start Plyometric Training At Home
Power Up Your Fitness with Plyometric Training
When you are pressed for time, space or financial resources plyometric training might be your best option. You can improve your strength, speed and burn fat by performing plyometric exercises at home. All you need is your bodyweight.
Examples of Plyometric exercises are squat jump,lateral jump and plyo push ups.
These exercises involves power and speed.
Strength training makes the muscles you work stronger but won’t necessarily make them more powerful. Power has a time component to it. It’s the amount of work your muscles can do in a specified period of time. If you’re strong, you can generate a lot of force but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can generate that force quickly. But, if you have powerful muscles, you can generate that force super fast. Think of basketball and volleyball players. They must have considerable power in their lower body to jump explosively into the air. How do you develop that kind of explosive power?
One way to boost power capabilities is to add plyometrics to your routine. What are plyometrics? They’re movements that stretch a muscle to store energy and then shorten or contract the muscle quickly to release that energy. An example of a simple plyometric move is squat jumps. To do a squat jump, you descend into a squat and then explosively propel your body upward toward the sky. If you dissected the movement, you would see that when you descend into a squat, the muscles in your legs store energy. When you launch into the explosive jump, the stored energy is released, and your body ascends into the air.
For a plyometric move to be effective, you have to release the stored energy quickly. You can’t descend into a squat and hold the position for a while before you jump. It’s an explosive move. Plyometric moves effectively boost your heart rate as well. So, you also get a cardiovascular workout if you do plyometric exercises for a sustained period of time. There’s another perk. Studies show that adding lower body plyometrics to a training routine may lower the risk of knee injuries, especially anterior cruciate ligament tears.
Beginner Plyometric Moves
The best way to add plyometrics to your routine, if you’ve never done them, is to begin with squat jumps on the floor. To do a squat jump, get into a squat position. Then, explosively jump into the air and land again in the same squat position. Repeat the movement for 20 or 30 seconds at first. You can gradually increase the time.
Another good, beginner plyometric exercise is lateral jumps. To do this exercise, place a pole or other object on the ground in front of you. Stand on one side of the pole. Then, descend into a squat and jump over the pole, landing in a squat position on the other side. Repeat for 20 to 30 seconds. This is a good movement for increasing lateral mobility too.
Another safe, beginning move is plyometric lunges. Here’s how to do it. Get into a lunge position with your right leg in front of you. As you descend into a lunge, explosively switch your legs so your left leg is in front when you land. Keep switching the leg in front as you do explosive lunges.
More Advanced Plyometric Moves
More advanced plyometric moves include box jumps where you jump onto boxes or risers of various heights. But, don’t attempt box jumps until you’ve done beginner plyometric moves for a few weeks. The risk of injury is higher when you’re jumping on and off a box. It takes strength, power, agility, and coordination to do it safely. Always start with a low box or riser and gradually raise the height as the movement becomes easier. Box jumps are an exercise athletes do to improve their vertical jump height. If you have health problems that preclude you from doing high-impact exercises, box jumps aren’t for you.
Upper Body Plyometric Exercises
Plyometrics aren’t just for your lower body. You can build power in your upper body with plyometric push-ups. It’s a tough move, so make sure you’ve mastered standard push-ups before trying a plyometric one. To do a plyometric push-up, get into a standard push-up position. Your hands should be slightly wider than your shoulders. Lower your body toward the ground in the classic, push-up manner. As you approach the floor, explosively push your body upward until your hands come off the floor. Land in a push-up position and repeat. You may only be able to do a few at first, but gradually work up to doing more.
Why is the Ability to Generate Power Important?
Having good power capabilities helps you perform better in sports that require jumping or sprinting. Plus, we lose strength as we age but power capabilities also decline. That’s one reason people become frail and chair bound later in life. It’s because they can’t generate enough power to rise out of a chair! Building muscle power and maintaining it throughout life is the key to healthy aging. Due to the intense nature of many plyometric exercises, they can help you preserve muscle strength, agility, and power.
Be Safe When You Do Plyometrics
Start with the easiest moves, like squat jumps, and work up to harder variations, like box jumps. Even if you never progress beyond squat jumps, you’ll still get benefits. Always start with a warm-up to avoid placing stress on cold muscles. You can even include plyometric moves between your strength-training exercises. What a way to challenge your body! Enjoy the benefits that plyometric moves offer.
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