The main idea of Plyo short for Plyometrics, is rapid force muscle development. An example of this is jump squats. Which is a series of body weight squats that go into a vertical jump. These are preformed repetitively in a set. In doing this type of exercise you are building explosive muscle power used in many sports. It is extreme fitness.
Wanna run faster? Jump higher? have more explosive power? Then Plyometric exercise is right for you. As Tony Horton in his Plyometric segment of P90X: “If your game involves a court, field, track, mat, pool, ring, rink, or mountain Plyometrics can help.”
Many of Plyometric exercises involve jumping. Which Plyometrics may be a good alternative your lower body workout routines. Plus it is just fun.
The most important element in the jumping exercises are the take off and landing. To avoid any injury it best to leap off the toes and land softly on the balls of your feet. Also I advise using a surface that is soft to absorb impact on landing. I do lots of plyo on the grass or on the beach.
Do a 5 minute light cardio warm up. Jumping rope is a great way to get ready for Plyometrics.
Preform this sequence as a circuit completing one exercise and moving on to the next. After you have finished each exercise once rest for 1-2 minutes and go again.
Exercise 1: Squat Jumps
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Lower yourself from the waist then the knees keeping your weight in the heals. Go down until your fingers touch the floor from a straight down arm position. From here leap straight up. Land on the balls of your feet and go straight into your next rep.
Exercise 2: Plyo Pushups
Get into a prone pushup position. Lower yourself into a normal pushup. From here explode up and try to clap your hands before catching yourself. Use the force of the landing to lower your self into your next pushup. These are an advanced move. If you are not yet comfortable doing these types of pushups. Try on your knees using a medicine ball, box, or just the floor. If you opt for this make sure that that hands are not directly under your shoulders but slightly out in front of you. Also, lower your hips until your head, back, and butt are all in a straight line to your knees.
Exercise 3: Running Man Jump Squats
Start with your feet in a stance that you would use if you were about to start a race. Make sure that the toe of your front foot is lined up with the heal of your back foot. Next, reach down with your arms to your side and your back straight with a lean forward from the wait. Once your fingers touch the ground leap up and switch the positions of your feet. Go straight into the next rep. You may have to reposition yourself if you are leaping quickly.
Exercise 4: Medicine Ball Slams
Stand straight up with your feet shoulder width apart. Grab a medicine ball with both hands and raise it over your head. As hard as you can slam the medicine ball down. Use the bounce to catch it low. Bring it back up over your head and go straight into the next rep. You can also preform this exercise siting down with your legs out like a “V”.
Exercise 5: Box Jumps or Progressive Box Jumps
Using Plyo Boxes or any study structure that you can safely jump onto and off of. This exercise can either be done with one or multiple boxes. Start with your feet should width apart jump onto a box and either down and onto another box or back off the same box. I like to put a 3-5 boxes out and jump up on and down off the boxes. You can also mix it up by jumping sideways in one direction then the other. Make sure on these we are not jumping like Frankenstein, but more like Catwoman. Meaning that you are landing softly on the balls of your feet and taking off from your toes.