Plyometrics: Exercises to Increase Power
Plyometric training is specific work to enhance explosive power. In other words,
it involves a lot of jumping. Plyometric training is used for sports that
require short bursts of power such as tennis, basketball, or skiing, but it's
also a good exercise for anyone who wants to increase her power.
Here are a few Plyometric exercises to add to your routine. Also, make sure to
up adequately and stretch before you begin.
Plyometric training should progress gradually from lower intensity to higher
intensity drills, especially for individuals who lack a significant strength
Plyometrics is a high-impact activity, so if you have any joint trouble or
pain, give it a miss.
Before a vertical jump, crouch to a point where your knees reach a 90-degree
Use your arms. The inertia of swinging your arms up as you jump will help
pull the rest of your body up
The faster you are moving before the jump, the higher you can jump. This is
why high jumpers get a running start - to jump much higher than they could from
Think about landing with your entire
body, not just your feet. The shock of
landing is not absorbed by the foot alone; instead it's a combination of the
ankle, knee, and hip joints working together to absorb the shock of landing
Pretend that the ground is hot, and you want to jump back up quickly
Land quietly. You shouldn't hear a loud slapping noise when your feet hit the
Start off by jogging for a few paces. Then push off with your left foot and
bring the left leg forward, with knee bent and thigh parallel to the ground. At
the same time, reach forward with your right arm. As your left leg comes
through, your right leg extends back and remains extended for the duration of
the push-off. Hold this extended stride for a moment; then land on your left
Then, the right leg comes through to a forward bent position, the left arm
reaches forward, and the left leg extends backward as you continue on the other
side. Make each stride long, and try to cover as much distance as possible. You
should land on the sole of your foot and immediately take off again. Keep the
foot touch-down time as short as possible. Try two or three bounds.
Don't try too many bounds in one go. Quality is much more important than
quantity here, especially because these exercises are to build strength and
power rather than endurance.
Start off by doing one; then work up to doing a maximum of five per set for two
or three sets. Always rest between sets.
Single leg hops
Stand on one leg. Push off with the leg you are standing on and jump forward,
landing on the same leg. Use a forceful swing of the opposite leg to increase
the length of the jump, but aim primarily for height. Land mostly on the ball of
your foot, and immediately take off again.
Keep your foot on the ground for the shortest time possible. Try a few times on
one side; then try the other. Keep your body vertical and straight. When you
start, a straight leg is okay. As you get better, try to pull the heel towards
your bottom during the jump.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower into a
squat position and jump
as far forward as possible. Land mostly on the balls of both feet. Try to keep
your body vertical and straight, and don't let your knees move apart or to
either side. Use quick double-arm swings and keep landings short.
From a standing position, jump up and try to grab both knees up by your chest;
this is the ultimate goal, so don't worry if you can't do it right away. It's
Return to the starting position, landing mostly on the balls of the feet. Spring
up as quickly as you can. Again, try to touch down with your feet very briefly
before trying again.
Jumping jacks are a quick way to up your
heart rate and
tone the muscles.
Double check your form to make sure you get the most from your
Grab a skipping rope and act like a child!
Skipping is a fun way to get in
shape. Adding some new moves can make it more exciting.
Ready to try a squat thrust? If not, check out a few modified versions to help
you ease into it.
Loosen up and stay mobile and strong with the all-powerful windmill move.
Jump training, or Plyometrics, can increase your strength and power.
Dated 29 April 2013