Try these basic plyometric exercises for a simple start to plyometric training. Plyometrics are beneficial for total body calorie burning. It is a form of cardiovascular exercise so it can improve your endurance and your cardiovascular health. Many people use plyometrics to train to increase power in their muscles. The impact of plyometric exercises can also be beneficial to bone growth and maintenance.
Plyometric Wall Push Ups
Stand a few feet back (or a comfortable distance) away from a wall. Slowly allow yourself to fall forward towards the wall. Catch yourself with your hands on the wall and press your self off of the wall right away.
High knees are a very simple plyometric exercise. Keep your back straight, don’t lean forward and square your shoulders. Lift your knees to hip height and alternate. Move your opposite arm up with the opposite knee. Start slow and speed it up. Do this for 30 seconds at a time. To increase the intensity and soften the impact for your knees and hips, try this on a trampoline.
Plyometric Split Squats
These split squats are a great exercise for your legs on their own but when you add plyometrics through jumping to transition between each split squat, your body learns how to land effectively and absorb force when landing. This also helps with coordination and proprioception for your feet to land nicely without wobbling.
Reverse Lunge to High Knee
This exercise is a great all-around leg exercise working your quads, hamstrings and calf muscles. Making this a bit of a unilateral exercise by using one side first and then switching to the other, you train the opposite side of your body with neurological adaptations.
Skaters are a great exercise for training your muscle power. The sideways motion is great for strengthening all angles of your legs to improve stability and balance. The lateral movement strengthens your knee and its surrounding tissues to help make your legs even stronger. Start slow to establish your natural balance and then speed up this exercise.
Bunny hops are a fun and quick exercise to work on ankle strength and mobility. This exercise doesn’t seem like much but it actually targets all of the main muscles in your legs; glutes, quads, hamstrings and calf muscles.
Burpees are a wonderful full body combination exercise that also improves your cardiovascular health. It improves your strength and endurance by involving strengthening exercises like squats and push ups as well as the increased intensity of a jump for cardio.
Julia de Reijke RKin, CSEP-CPT, BASc Kinesiology (Hons), DipFTHP