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Powerful plyometric fitness moves

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Jump to get fit

Are you bored with your current workout? Have you hit the dreaded fitness plateau? Give your fitness a jumpstart with plyometrics, the training technique used by athletes to increase muscle power and strength with jumps, bounds and other explosive movements. Plyometrics, also called jump training, will not only add intrigue to your current exercise ennui, they will help you boost your fitness level, burn calories and get results. Here are three plyometric moves, courtesy of the American Council on Exercise (ACE) to get you pumped.

Lateral Cone Jumps

Starting position: Place a series of cones 18 to 24 inches apart in a straight line on a non-slip surface. Stand 3 to 6 inches to your left of the first cone with your feet hip-width apart or closer, arms by your sides.

Jump to get fit

Downward phase and jumping motion: Begin your downward phase by first shifting your hips backwards then slowly moving downwards to create a hinge-like movement at your knees. Continue to lower yourself until you feel your heels about to lift off the floor. Try to maintain a flat back by bending forward at the hips. Keep your head facing forward or to the floor, and position your arms where comfortable or where they offer the greatest degree of balance support. With only a very brief pause at the bottom of your downward phase, explode sideways and upwards over the top of the first cone, pushing and extending your ankles, knees and hips simultaneously. As you jump into the air, try to keep your feet level with each other and parallel with the floor.

Jump to get fit

Landing: Attempt to land softly and quietly on the mid-foot, rolling backwards quickly towards the heels to create a level foot, parallel with the floor. Always push your hips backwards and drop your hips to absorb the jumping forces. Avoid locking your knees or quads on your landing as this may lead to potential knee injuries. Land with your trunk inclined slightly forward, head aligned with your spine and back rigid or flat. Keep your core muscles engaged, stiffening your torso to protect your spine

Jump to get fit

With only a very brief pause at the bottom of your landing phase, explode sideways (left) and upwards again over the second cone. Continue this process until you have cleared all of the cones. Repeat to the right.

Up next: Bosu Squat Jumps

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