Improve your performance

Many athletes and fitness trainers use plyometric (jumping) exercises to build power and speed, improve coordination and agility and effectively improve sports performance.

I’ve put together this workout so that you too can get this type of training’s benefits.

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Getting lean and burning calories is not just about weight training and CV work. Look at the bodies of elite sprinters and multi-eventers like the wonderful Jessica Ennis and you’ll fully appreciate what I mean.

The Workout

Complete 30 seconds of each exercise and take 30 seconds recovery before moving onto the next.

Do six circuits.

Warm up

– 10 minute run including, side-shuffles (steps), skips and backward running.
– Dynamic stretches such as: walking lunges with a twist, inchworms (walking out with hands and then in with feet from a prone position), arm and hip rotations and leg swings.

Tips

– Wear well cushioned shoes
– Perform on a sprung floor or athletics track or gymnastics mats
– Always underestimate what you can do to start with
– If you are new to this type of training, learn the exercises over time before doing the circuit
– Land on your forefeet and not on your heels and try to make your landing quick and light.

The Exercises:

1. High Knee Skipping

Use an exaggerated skipping action and drive one leg’s thigh up as dynamically as possible to leap off the ground. Use your arms to aid power and balance.

Land lightly and repeat with other leg.

2. Kneeling into Jump

Kneel on the ground with your arms to your sides. Drive your arms up and extend your legs to stand up as quickly as you can.

Return to start position and repeat.

* Note this exercise is more about developing concentric leg strength rather than a true plyometric action as your legs power you up.
However, if you complete the drill as quickly as possible and in particular the transition between returning to the start position and standing up it will be more plyometric.

3. Alternating Leg Bounding

Leap forward as far as you can onto one leg and then onto the other. Try to keep your chest up especially after you have got going. Land lightly but as reactively as you can between phases. Use your arms for balance and to boost your power.

Do: 10 bounds, stop and turn around and repeat for the 30 second period.

Plyometric Power_24. Tuck Jumps

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms out in front of you, dynamically extend your legs to jump as high as you can, lifting your knees towards your hands as you do so.

5. Plyo Press-up

Starting in a press-up position, lower and then push back up as hard as you can through your arms to jump your body into the air. Keep your core braced throughout.

If you have injured/weak wrists/shoulders do not perform this exercise.

Advanced option: try to touch your hips with your hands or even clap your hands behind your back.

6. Single Leg Box Jump

Stand in front of the box and drive one leg upward to jump onto the box. Land with the non take-off leg. Jump back down and repeat with the other leg. Go for a controlled rhythm.

Do: 30 seconds on each leg.

For a less advanced option jump on and off the box with both feet.

7. Lateral Bench Jumps

Start to one side of the bench. Jump sideways over the bench using your arms to assist you. Keep your legs close together. Land and jump back to where you started.

Repeat and keep up a quick rhythm.

8. Squat Jumps

Start in a squat position and then extend your legs powerfully to jump into the air. Land lightly and lower into a deep squat and repeat. Use your arms to aid your power.

Cool down for 10 minutes

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