Everybody Jump! Building Muscle with Plyometrics
When we were kids, jumping was a normal part of life. We were jumping rope, jumping on a trampoline or doing jumping jacks in gym class. We were doing plyometrics without even knowing it! Plyometrics, which is basically jump training, is a powerful aerobic exercise that helps increase your speed, endurance, and strength. A plyometric exercise is quick and starts with a muscle-lengthening action and then is immediately followed by a muscle-shortening action. By adding plyometric exercises to your current resistance training, you can maximize your performance. Interested in adding this to your current routine? Let’s get started!
Box Jumps and Depth Jumps
For a basic box jump, start by selecting a sturdy box that is knee height (or slightly higher), bend your knees to form a deep squat and jump with both feet to land squarely on the box. Step back off the box and repeat the exercise. For a depth jump, stand with feet shoulder-width apart and toes near the edge of the box and step off to land in a squat position.
If you’re not familiar with burpees, this is a great way build muscle strength and endurance in both your lower and upper body. Burpees generally strengthen the muscles in your legs, hips, butt, abdomen, arms, chest, and shoulders. From standing, bend your legs and go into a squat. Place your hands down on the floor as you jump your feet back into a plank position, keeping your back straight. Lower your chest to the floor for one push-up. Then jump your feet forward to the outside of your hands, coming into a squat. Finish with a jump up, arms lifted over your head.
Push Up and Clap
Starting in a normal plank position, do a regular push-up by lowering your body down toward the floor. As you press up, push hard enough to lift your hands and body as high off the ground as possible. Clap your hands together and then return to the starting position to repeat the exercise.