We often talk about Plyometrics in fitness. In fact, they come up more and more as a recommended workout for athletes, weight loss, and general fitness.
* Denotes exercises which you can use a medicine ball to increase difficulty. Here are a few links if you don't have one:
So what is a plyo?
"Plyometrics -- also known as jump training -- is a training technique designed to increase muscular power and explosiveness." (For more information on their history and a few of their many benefits go to this webmd article)
One of the major pieces missing on the Webmd article are the weight loss benefits associated with plyometrics. When I work with clients and athletes it is easy to meld plyo's with interval training (like in my workout below). Interval training is directly associated with fat loss and increase of both stamina and short-burst strength.
I think this article on livestrong does a great job describing the benefits and risks of plyo's:
To minimize the risk associated with a workout that incorporates fast-twitch/explosive movements remember to take a good 7-10 minutes of warm-up before jumping (quite literally) into these workouts. Avoid long periods of static stretching beforehand, and make sure your muscles are elastic (the warmer you are the more stretch in your muscles).
Here is my Plyocide workout for this week. Use it 1-2 times either in replacement of a cardio or lifting exercise. It also incorporates some core-work as well. Core is used for everything and even if it isn't your "ab day" you should have some core work daily.
Warm-up: 7-10 minutes of cardio at a moderate intensity.
Circuit 1 (Repeat 2-3 times)
15 Jump Squats*
10 1-Leg Push-ups
25 Traditional Situps*
Circuit 2 (2-3 times)
20 Split Squat Jumps*
15 Lateral Jump-ups
25 Knee to Opposite Elbow (in a plank)*
10 Burpee Box Jumps
Cool down and stretch 5-7 minutes (include your static stretching here)
|Single Leg Pushup|
|Split Leg Jumpsquat|
|Knee to Elbow in a Plank|
|Burpee Box Jumps|