Plyometric exercises provide an efficient way to increase muscular endurance and power. Plyometrics involve rapid, repeated muscle changes from stretched to contracted positions. These exercises typically involve jumping and rebounding, and incorporate cardiovascular and toning exercises into one. Warm up for at least 10 minutes before a plyometric workout, with activities such as rope jumping.
Split jumps get your heart rate pumping and will challenge the muscular endurance of your hamstrings and quadriceps. Step forward with your right foot. Place your hands on your hips. Bend your knees to 90 degrees, then spring and jump into the air. Switch your legs in the air and land with your opposite foot in front. Land with your knees bent, then bounce up, switching your legs again. Keep your torso perpendicular to the floor throughout the exercise. Continue split jumps for 30 seconds, but try to build up to three minutes. Do not let the back knee touch the floor.
Take your workout up a notch by performing box jumps. This exercise will make your legs burn, challenge your hip flexors and put your heart to work. Stand in front of a stable box, step or platform. Jump onto the box and immediately spring off, landing on the floor. Jump right back onto the box, then continue to jump on and off for at least 30 seconds, slowly and progressively working your way up to three minutes.
Barrier Lateral Jumps
Barrier lateral jumps are a nice change of direction. Instead of jumping forward and backward you'll jump from side to side. This exercise will challenge your legs and elevate your heart rate. Stand with your left side facing a mat, step, box or hurdle. Jump over the barrier and land on the opposite side. Immediately jump over the barrier again, landing in the starting position, then jump back to the opposite side. Continue jumping for 30 seconds, progressively working your way up to three minutes.
The hurdle jump is the ultimate exercise of this circuit. Your hamstrings, hip flexors and calf muscles will be on fire and your heart rate will rise after you perform this activity. Set up a row of at least three hurdles, each at least 1 foot in height. The barriers must be close together so you can jump them in succession, without taking any additional steps. If you do not have access to hurdles, use a similar narrow barrier. They do not have to be the same height. Stand facing your barriers. Slightly bend your knees and jump over the first barrier. Immediately jump over the next barrier and so forth. Continue the hurdle jumps for 30 seconds, progressively working up to three minutes.