Plyometrics are jump training exercises that will help you improve your speed and explosive power. Plyometrics can be incorporated into your existing workout program for additional challenge, or you can set up a weekly plyometric circuit training workout. Because of the intensity of the exercises, you may perform the circuit once a week if you are a beginner and twice a week if you have an advanced fitness level. Your muscles will need two days of recovery in between the workouts, so plan your training accordingly. Note that plyometrics is best learned with a coach when you have a decent level of fitness.
If you have not tried incorporating circuit training into your workout rotation, you may be missing out on a workout style designed to bring you an effective workout in a short amount of time. Circuit training uses a specific order of exercises, which you choose, and a set time, such as 30 to 90 seconds, spent in each of the exercises, or stations. You quickly advance from one exercise station to the next with little or no rest in between. One time through your rotation of exercises completes the circuit and you may repeat it two or three times.
Plyometric exercises combine speed movements with strength exercises to increase power. Most of the exercises involve jumping movements, so use caution if you have any knee or ankle injuries. An example of a reduced intensity plyometric exercise is skipping. During skipping, your feet do not remain on the ground for an extended period of time; most of the movement involves a quick takeoff from the ground. Skipping for three to five minutes can be used as a warm-up for your plyometric circuit workout.
You can select your plyometric exercises to increase your vertical movement, your forward movement, or both. A two-foot ankle hop does not require any equipment. Standing tall and using your ankles for momentum, hop in one place for your desired station time. Use a zig-zag run to improve side-to-side and forward motion. Perform this exercise by leaping your right foot forward and to the right, slightly touching your left foot next to your right foot and then leaping your left foot forward and to the left. Continue to move forward in a zig-zag motion for your planned station time.
Begin with your skipping warm-up for five minutes. Perform two-foot ankle hops for one minute. Perform zig-zag run for one minute. Squat jump, in which you lower your hips into a squat before you explosively jump and then land in a squat to repeat, for one minute. Sprint back and forth over 100 yards for one minute. Set a row of cones on the floor and jump forward, landing on both feet, over the cones for one minute. Jump sideways over your cones for one minute. Perform a hexagon drill in which you imagine a hexagon on the floor. Standing in the middle of the hexagon, jump forward to the first side and then backward to the center. Repeat this motion for all six sides of the hexagon and for a total of one minute. Skip backward for one minute. Bound for one minute using an exaggerated jog and leaping as you run. Perform a front toss with a ball or medicine ball for one minute. Stand with the ball between your feet and jump as you bring the ball up with your feet and toss it to your hands. Including your warm-up and twice through the circuit, you will perform a 25-minute workout.