Plyometric exercises, if you haven’t heard about them yet, are training exercises that attempt to push your muscles to the maximum for a short interval. You have to use as much force as possible to get an improvement of strength and speed. It’s become hugely popular recently, but it’s also high-risk because there is a great potential for injury. If you push yourself too far or perform these exercises incorrectly, you could strain your muscles as well as injure your joints; and that is a perfect way of saying goodbye to both your training and your health.
Here are 5 amazing plyometric exercises for you to try, and the right way to do them if you want to avoid injuring yourself.
If you know how to do a normal push-up, then you’re already halfway there on this exercise. Instead of rising up slowly from the ground, you should explore as far as possible. Try to get as far off the ground as you can, with your hands off the floor. You must then cushion your landing so that you do not damage your wrists. There are some variations where you are encouraged to clap your hands during each rep. This is not recommended, however, as you could easily hurt your wrists or fingers if you time it wrong. A set of plus push-ups takes just 15 seconds. Any more, and you could be pushing yourself too hard.
This one is very popular as it looks so impressive. Find a box which is knee height, and sturdy. Don’t risk it with a box which isn’t built strongly enough. You could find yourself in physiotherapy with serious knee or foot issues if you go through it. Squat down to a parallel depth, then use the explosive moment to jump up into the air. Land on the box softly with your knees tucked for landing. When coming down from the box, it is very important that you step rather than jumping. An impact even from this height could jolt your joints and cause injuries, as well as potentially injuring the spine.
Start jogging then turns it up a notch. Push off with your left foot and bring your right knee up so that your thigh is parallel with the ground. Reach forward with both arms for more impact. Your goal is to travel as far forwards as you can. Again, aim for a soft landing and be aware of your movements. The last thing that you want is to fall while attempting this exercise.
You can also think of this one as a box jump without the box. Go into a squat, then use your arms and legs to help you jump as far forward and as high as you can. Land back into a squat position to cushion your knees and back. Try to do 10 jumps in the quickest time possible. The distance that you travel can also be measured. As soon as you land from one, you should prepare for the next, but don’t push yourself too quickly when you are first trying this exercise out.
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For this exercise, find a raised platform such as a step. Put one hand on the step and one hand on the floor, but otherwise, assume a normal push-up position. As you complete the exercise, use explosive power to push yourself up into the air and swap your hands around. You can travel back and forth until you get to the stage that your reps begin to slow down. Don’t push too hard after this point, and always be aware of your own abilities. If you can’t manage to complete the move, you could jar your wrists or elbows, and could even injure your face or head if your positioning is incorrect. Line up properly before you try this one.
It is of the utmost importance that you only approach plyometric exercises with caution and care. They were devised to help athletes in the prime of their strength build on their existing abilities, not for amateurs. Don’t push yourself too hard and always ensure you are getting your positioning right. If you do jar a joint or muscle by accident, stop immediately and rest to prevent further damage.
Author: James Norwick is a great supporter and advocate of the healthy lifestyle and a blogger who often shares his fitness ideas with others. Currently, James is supporting Bend + Mend – Physiotherapy and Pilates experts.