Plyometrics are a great way to turn up the intensity in any workout. Plyometrics are used to increase power and strength and there are three phases to any plyometric exercise. The first is the muscle lengthening phase which is known as the eccentric movement.

Once that is completed, the second phase begins with a short resting period called the amortization phase followed by the concentric phase which involves an explosive movement.

The goal of the exercise is to complete this three part cycle as quickly as possible and increase the number of fast-twitch fibers in your muscles. The stronger these fibers are, the faster the contraction of the muscle will lead to increased strength and power.

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I love incorporating plyometric exercises into my clients’ workouts in order to increase their power and strength as well as to change the tempo and intensity of their workout.

If you are new to working out, you should first build up your cardio and strength training before beginning a plyometric workout as the exercises are intense and put a fair load of pressure on the tendons and joints.

Here is a great total body workout meant to challenge your body, push your limits and burn fat! 

How it works: Do each exercise for the number of reps stated and complete this cycle 3 times.

1) Plyometric push-ups

Start in the traditional push up position and lower your upper body down to the floor. With explosive force, push yourself off the ground with enough force that your hands leave the ground.  Repeat. Complete 12 reps.

2) Split squat jumps

Stand with your feet hip width apart. Take the left leg back about two feet and put all of your weight on the ball of that back foot. Your shoulders should be back and your chest out so that you are standing with good posture. Lower your body to the ground, ensuring the knee of your front leg does not go over your toes.

Feet should be positioned at a staggered stance with head and back straight in a neutral position. Lower your body so your right knee is parallel to the ground.

Once this is done, explode vertically and switch legs in the air.  You should end up with your right leg behind you. Once you land, explode off the ground vertically.  You should be back to your starting position. Do 15 reps.

plyometric workout2

3) Single arm overhead throws

Stand with feet a bit wider than shoulder width apart. Grasp a medicine ball and lower your body down into a semi squat position, so that you are powering up your legs.  Explode up into a standing position and throw the medicine ball as high into the air as possible while generating most of the power in your legs. Catch the ball on the bounce and repeat. Do 20 reps

4) Jump squats

Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.  Ensure your knees are not hovering over your toes, and that you maintain proper posture meaning shoulders back and chest out.

Putting all the weight in your heels, load up your knees with power but swinging your hands behind you explode vertically. Once you land, repeat from the starting position.  Complete 15 reps

5) Lateral plank walk

Start in the plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders. Your body should be in a straight line. As you maintain your plank position, simultaneously move your left hand and left foot beside your right foot and hand.

Then move your right hand and right foot laterally.  You should still be in your original plank position, only you’ve travelled.  Keep your abs pulled into your spine and pelvis leveled.  This is one rep.  Continue 10 in one direction and the 10 back in the other direction.

6) Speed skaters

Use two markers on the floor approximately four feet apart.  Start in a lower position with your right leg in front of your left leg.  Explode horizontally to the right and land on your right foot, with a bended knee.

Then explode horizontally to the left, landing on your left foot with your left knee bent. Your movement should resemble that of a speed skater.  Continue to do 15 reps on each leg. 

After you have completed this workout, I guarantee you will be sweating and sore meaning you will have successfully turned up your heart rate and your fat burn!

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