Have you ever tried plyometrics? Well today was my first time incorporating them into my routine and I must say, they are a killer! Plyometric exercises are explosive, fast-acting movements where you stretch your muscles and then contract them quickly increasing your overall strength, endurance, speed, agility and fat burn. Plyometrics will raise your heart rate into the anaerobic zone (like high intensity interval training) which increases your metabolism causing you to continue burning fat even after you finish working out.
You can do this workout after your strength training or in place of your cardio routine. I recommend doing it on non-consecutive days to allow your body to fully rest and recover. I would not recommend incorporating plyometric exercises if you have knee injuries, are a beginner or if your joints cannot handle high impact exercises. Perform each exercise 10-20 times (depending on your fitness level) and rest for 10-30 seconds (again depending on your fitness level).
1. Squat Jumps
Start in a squat position, jump into the air as high as you can landing in the squat position.
2. Jumping Lunges
Start in a lunge position with your left leg forward, jump into the air and switch legs, landing in a lunge position with your right leg forward. This is 1 rep.
3. Single Leg Jumps
Stand with your left leg forward in a lunge position with your right hand (or right hand fingertips) touching the ground. Jump into the air pushing off with your left leg while lifting your right knee into the air and reaching your left arm towards the sky. Land back in the starting lunge position. This is 1 rep. After you have completed all reps, switch legs.
4. Tuck Jumps
Jump up into the air using both legs, bend your knees and bring your legs as high as you can towards your chest.
5. Over Box Jumps
Using an object (like a step or bench) jump over it using both legs.
6. 1 Legged Zig Zag Jumps
Crouch down low and jump side to side from one leg to the other, pushing explosively (think roller skating).
7. Long Jumps
Standing with both feet together, jump as far forward as you can,
8. Box Jumps
Starting with both feet together, jump up onto a bench, step or chair and jump down again. This is 1 rep.
Remember to always warm up and cool down before and after exercise to help prevent injury.