Plyometric exercises have many positive effects on your muscles, tendons, central nervous system and overall fitness. Designed to increase power, agility and speed, plyometrics are short, explosive actions that are repeated in sets with at least 10 reps. One of the many positive incentives of doing plyometric exercises is that they do not require a lot of bulky, expensive equipment. You may perform them in a minimal amount of space using nothing more than your own body.
Video of the Day
Lateral Hurdle Jumps
Lateral Hurdle Jumps are essentially repeated jumps you make from side to side. Start off by placing a shoe box or other object on the ground next to you, and stand with your feet about 10 inches apart. Bend your knees slightly and simultaneously jump vertically and laterally over the box. As soon as you land, jump back over the box and continue to jump back and forth. Make sure both feet land at the same time, your feet are about 10 inches apart when you land and your knees are slightly bent. You may do this exercise with or without a box to jump over. If you do not have an object to jump over, make sure you are lifting your legs at least a foot off the ground when you jump. Start off with three sets, 20 reps in each set, or jump for a duration of 30 seconds and jump longer as you get stronger.
For Tuck Jumps, start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees bent. Jump upward as high as you can, bringing your knees up to your chest. As soon as you land back down, jump up again and repeat. It is important to land each time with your knees bent, so as to maintain your balance and prevent injury. This is one of the more difficult plyometric exercises, so start off with three sets with 10 reps in each set and then work your way up.
Begin this exercise in a squat position, with your legs a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Your arms should be placed in front of you at a 45-degree angle to help you maintain your balance. Keeping your head, shoulder and upper body in the same position, jump slightly, and bring your feet together. As soon as your feet touch together, jump back out to your starting position and repeat rapidly, without taking any time in between movements. Remember to keep your head and torso in relatively the same position and try not to bounce up and down too much. Try three sets with 20 repetitions in each set. One rep consists of an inward and outward movement of your feet.
Assume a normal pushup stance with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders, your back straight and your feet nearly touching together. Lower yourself down until you are almost touching the floor. When you reach the bottom of your motion, push up with as much force as you can so that your hands leave the floor. Ideally, your hands will come up at least a few inches off the floor. As soon as your hands make contact with the floor again, lower yourself back down, just as you normally would in a regular pushup and repeat. Try to land with your elbows slightly bent to ease the amount of force placed on your wrists and to prevent injury. Do 10 pushups in each of three sets and work your way up as you begin to master the technique.