6 Quick Plyometric Exercises
What Are Plyometrics?
Want to improve your fitness level by leaps and bounds? Try plyometrics. These high-intensity, explosive movements rev up your heart rate and burn major calories (around 150 from this routine!) while challenging multiple muscle groups and strengthening bones. All you need is a stopwatch and the following moves from Katie Riley, a personal trainer and fitness instructor at Evolve Health & Fitness, in San Diego. For the best results, do the series two times through, three times a week. Before you start, warm up with 30 seconds of marching in place, 30 seconds of jogging in place, and a few squats.
Move 1: Jump Squats
(A) Begin with your feet hip-distance apart. Lower into a squat as you extend your arms, elbows bent and hands in loose fists. Push your hips back and keep your weight on your heels.
(B) Push off the balls of your feet and jump, letting your arms swing behind you. Land softly on the balls of your feet. Repeat for 45 seconds, then rest for 15.
Move 2: Push-Up and Pop-Ups
Begin in high plank, with your hands directly under your shoulders and legs extended.
(A) Lower into a push-up, then press back up to the starting position.
(B) Jump both of your feet forward so that they’re just behind your hands. Shift your weight forward and jump your feet back so you return to plank position. Repeat for 45 seconds, then rest for 15.
Move 3: Lunges With Hops
Stand with feet together, hands on hips.
(A) Step back with your right foot and lower into a reverse lunge. Shift your weight onto your left leg.
(B) In one movement, rise up, bring your right knee forward, and jump, lifting your right knee to hip level. Land lightly on your left foot and step your right leg back into a lunge. Repeat for 45 seconds, then rest for 15. Switch sides.
Move 4: Jumping-Jack Planks
(A) Begin in high plank.
(B) Keeping your abdominals tight and body straight from head to heels, jump your feet out wide and back together, landing softly on your toes. Repeat for 45 seconds, then rest for 15.
Move 5: Skater Jumps
Begin with feet together, hands by your sides.
(A) Bend your elbows and bring your palms together in front of your chest. Cross your right leg behind your left and lower into a half squat.
(B) Push off with your left foot and jump up and to the right. Land lightly on your right foot, crossing your left leg behind your right. Lower into a half squat. Repeat for 45 seconds, continuously jumping from side to side, then rest for 15.
Move 6: Mountain Climbers
(A) Begin in high plank, keeping your abs engaged and body straight from head to heels. Without rounding your back, bend your left knee and pull it in toward your chest.
(B) Quickly extend your left leg back to the starting position. Repeat with your right leg. Continue for 45 seconds, switching legs as quickly as possible while holding your plank, then rest for 15.