Plyometrics: Hop to it!
By Brooke Stacey | Images by Paul Buceta
Plyometric training requires the muscles to exert maximal output in minimal time, leading to enhanced performance during functional activities. Less time with maximum results? Who doesn’t want that?
Plyometrics is a great progressive training program to include in your weekly workout routine, helping to break up the monotony of lifting weights. Not only will it take less time to complete, it will also help to activate your muscles more by challenging them in a different way. Plyometric training is one of the more advanced training tools; therefore the athlete needs proper levels of flexibility, core strength and balance before starting out. It is recommended to have three months or more of resistance training experience as well as being injury-free in order to participate in plyometrics safely.
When you challenge your muscles with short jumping exercises, it will help to build lean muscle mass and obtain a sleeker shape. Plyometrics will not only assist in quick body-sculpting results, it will also help to build stronger bones in the process. Bones are constantly regenerating themselves and the best way to help the process is through weight-bearing exercises. When you do regular weight-bearing exercise, your bones adapt to the impact of the weight and pull of muscles by building more cells and becoming stronger. The higher your bone density, the less likely bone degeneration and weakness will be a problem in the future.
The key combination of strengthening your cardiovascular system while building muscle will help you see swift results. Complete this circuit two to three days a week on non-consecutive days to see maximal results. The higher your intensity of the exercise, the more rest earned between each drill. In general, allow one to two minutes of recovery between each set to achieve maximal effort during each drill.
Move One - Ice Skaters (Three sets of 10 reps)
Start with your feet hip-width apart, do a single leg squat with your left leg and push off your left foot to move your body to the right. This will be about 50-100cm, depending on your stride and stature. As you land on your right leg, absorb the shock through the middle of your right foot and by doing a single leg squat. Use the power of the right-legged squat to push your body back to the left and land on your left foot, absorbing the shock as you did with your right leg. Swing your arms side to side, corresponding with the direction your feet are moving, and repeat this 10 times.
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