Powerful plyometric fitness moves
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.
Before you jump
Because of the explosive movements, plyometrics are considered an advanced training technique for athletes and fitness enthusiasts who have a solid foundation of fitness.
Jessica Matthews, coordinator of continuing education for American Council on Exercise (ACE), says "Plyometric training can be a smart addition to a healthy individual's training program as long as it is used wisely. This type of training, when used safely and effectively, strengthens muscles, increases vertical jump and decreases impact forces on the joints."
Before you jump into plyometrics, be sure to read Get a jump on fitness with plyometrics and learn more about this powerful training technique.
Quick plyometric workout
Forward Cone Jumps
Starting position: Place a series of cones 18 to 24 inches apart in a straight line on a non-slip surface. Stand 6 inches behind the first cone with your feet hip-width apart or closer, arms by your sides. Pull your shoulders down and back without arching your low back, and brace your abdominal muscles to stiffen your spine.
Downward phase: First shift your hips backwards then slowly move 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 most balance support.
Jumping motion: With ONLY a very brief pause at the bottom of your downward phase, explode forward 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.
Landing: The most important components of the landing phase are correct foot position and avoiding excessive forward movement. 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 abdominal / core muscles engaged, stiffening your torso to protect your spine
With only a very brief pause at the bottom of your landing phase, explode forward and upwards again. Continue this process until you have cleared all the cones.