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Plyometrics: Ever Heard Of ‘Em

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Here is one that may have you scratching your head…Plyometrics.  It sounds like a college course in the flexibility of math or something like that.  If you have never heard of Plyometrics and it sounds too confusing to even understand, don’t worry about it.  I am going to break it down for you now and help you see the benefits of implementing plyometrics into your life.

What Are Plyometrics???

You have probably guessed by now that plyometrics have something to do with fitness as I am posting this on Fitness Friday.  Plyometrics, or Plyos, are a form of exercise that focus on muscles exerting maximum force in short interval of time.  Plyometrics is also known as jump training.  These are powerful aerobic exercises that can help you increase your speed, strength, and endurance.  Plyometrics are not for the feint of heart, as they can be tough to do.  Personally, I would not recommend them for anyone just beginning to exercise.  I would recommend you do not implement any plyometrics into your routine for the first six months of exercising.

Plyometric Exercises

There are a number of plyometric exercises out there that can really up your game.  Here are some highly recommended exercises and some of my favorites:

  • Squat Jumps
  • Box Jump
  • Tuck Jump
  • Burpees
  • Clapping Push Ups
  • Running in Place with High Knees

These exercises are great and engage a wide range of muscles.  They can quickly help you raise your game!!!

Why Not For The Beginner???

The reason I don’t suggest you hop right into plyometrics as a beginner is because they can be very taxing on your aerobic system and muscles.  These exercises definitely help your cardiovascular system, but can make it very difficult to breathe, so I don’t suggest you jump into these exercises as a beginner.  Since these exercises can be very taxing and tough, people who start with these tend to hurt themselves or lose their willpower to exercise because it is “just too hard.”  First off, since these exercises are taxing, people who are not use to using different muscle groups may find themselves on the disabled list.  Plyometrics must be worked into over time, not started right out of the gate.  Secondly, if your first experience back into exercise is to do plyometrics, you may find yourself dreading to work out.  If you dread working out, it will be very difficult for you to get into a regular exercise routine.

How To Implement Them Into Your Routine

If you have been exercising for six months or more, I believe you are ready to start.  My personal experience and recommendation is to integrate plyometrics into circuit training.  Circuit training is where you do three or more exercises before you take a 1 – 3 minute break.  When I am circuit training, I like to hit two muscle groups and end the circuit with a plyometric exercise.  For example, if I am working Chest and Triceps in my routine, I will have a circuit of bench pressing, tricep extensions, and jump squats.  Or if I am working Back and Biceps, I will perform pull ups, hammer curls, and tuck jumps.  I feel like this ends the round on something aerobic and helps tighten my core.  

Conclusion

Plyometrics can be great for the intermediate to advanced exerciser, but can be a curse on a beginner.  They are great for upping your game or can be a nail in the coffin of exercise for a newcomer to exercise.  I highly recommend that you integrate them into your routine once you have been exercising for at least six months.  With improvements in speed, strength, endurance, and your cardiovascular system, you can’t afford to leave these out of your routine as an athlete.  If you are not an athlete, you can still benefit from plyometrics and all the benefits they have to offer, so you should implement them too.  Best of luck to you, but take it easy.  Like I said, these are NOT for the feint of heart!!!

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