Plyometrics exercises are characterized by extremely rapid and powerful movements in a short span of time. These aim at improving the functioning of the nervous system, which in turn improves the performance in sports. In these exercises, the muscle is relaxed and then contracted in a rapid sequence, with the use of strength, elasticity, and innervation of the muscle and surrounding tissues. Due to this, the person is able to jump higher, run faster, throw farther, hit harder, etc. The plyometrics workout is used to increase the speed or force of muscular contractions, providing explosiveness for a variety of sport related activities.
Best Plyometrics Workouts
Plyometrics exercises are most effective when they are performed in conjunction with a suitable strength training program. It is important to note that not all these exercises are equal in intensity. There are some exercises, which are very light, while on the other hand, there are other exercises, which are very intense. When you want to chalk out a workout routine for yourself, the number of exercises for the lower body should be kept low. The ideal number is 3 exercises, interspersed with upper body exercises.
This is a wonderful lower body, low intensity, and low impact exercise. If you are designing a basketball workout with plyometrics exercises, then you should make this exercise a part of your workout. You may want to first read about exercises to tone thighs.
- Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your back straight in a neutral position. Your elbows should be flexed at a 90 degree angle to the arms.
- Lower your body, till your thighs are parallel to the ground and immediately jump upwards and drive your arms up. The time you require from shifting from the squats to jumping up should be the bare minimum.
- Land both feet together on the ground, rest for a couple of seconds, and repeat the exercise.
A couple of tuck jumps will work wonders for you if you train for long jumps or other similar sports activities.
- Like you did in the previous exercise, keep shoulder-width distance between your feet, stand with knees slightly bent (but do not squat), and place your arms to your side.
- Jump up and try to bring the knees up as close to your chest as you can.
- Land on the balls of the feet and repeat immediately.
- It is recommended that you reduce the ground contact time by landing softly on the feet and springing immediately back into the air again.
Lateral Hurdle Jumps
This exercise can help better your performance in hurdle jumps.
- Keep an object besides you. The object should not be very high, about as high from the ground as your knees.
- Bring your knees up and jump vertically, but at the same time laterally off the ground, and over the barrier as well.
- Land with both the feet and immediately jump off over to the other side.
- It is recommended not to pause between the jumps and not sink down into a squat position, when you are doing the jumps.
This exercise uses a medicine ball and is extremely effective for the upper body.
- Keep shoulder-width distance between your feet and slightly bend your knees.
- Hold the medicine ball with both the hands and pull it back, a little behind your head and forcefully throw the ball down on the ground as hard as you can.
- Catch hold of the ball on the bounce from the ground to repeat the exercise again.
This is one of the best plyometrics exercises for the upper body. You can do this exercise against the wall or with a partner.
- Stand in front of the wall, but there should be considerable distance between you and the wall. Place one foot in front of the other and keep your knees slightly bent.
- Hold the medicine ball with both your hands and pull it back behind your head and forcefully throw the ball forward as far as possible into the wall.
- Catch the ball, when it bounces back from the wall and repeat the steps again.
Now that you know all about the plyometrics exercises, you should be able to design a plyometrics workout for yourself depending on your needs and requirements. Remember, as is the case with any other exercise, you should warm up well before you start doing any of the exercises mentioned above. At the same time, if you have had any injuries, then it is better to have consulted your health care professional, before you start with these exercises.