Want to improve agility and increase strength through exercise? Check out some of the best plyometric exercises.
There is a reason why plyometric exercises are popular among athletes. Powerful and fast movements help increase strength, power and speed. Thus, athletes often use plyometric exercises to improve their performance in sports such as basketball and track and field. But you can also use plyometrics as an exercise. Read on to find out the benefits of plyometric exercises and how to do them.
What are plyometric exercises?
They are explosive exercises where the muscles are first stretched and then quickly contracted, like an elastic band. This process allows the muscles to produce more force than they would with slower contractions, says fitness expert Varun Ratan.
What are the benefits of plyometric exercises?
These exercises are not only good for athletes, but also for those who want to improve their overall fitness. Here are some advantages:
1. Increased power and speed
Plyometrics train muscles to fire faster, and this can improve speed and power in activities such as jumping, running, and throwing.
2. Improved vertical flight
These exercises are effective in improving vertical jump height. This is because some plyometrics train fast-twitch muscle fibers in the legs and hips.
3. Improved agility
Some of these exercises require the body to move quickly in different directions, which can improve agility.
4. Reduced risk of injury
Plyometrics strengthens muscles, tendons and ligaments, and improves neuromuscular coordination.
5. Improved bone density
Plyometric exercises involve high-impact loads on the bones, which can increase bone density, Ratan says.
6. Increased cardiovascular fitness
Plyometrics involve short bursts of intense activity followed by recovery periods, so they can improve cardiovascular fitness.
7. Reduced stress
Exercising in general is believed to boost mood. Plyometric exercises release endorphins that elevate mood.
8. Improving body composition
These exercises can help increase muscle mass while reducing body fat, improving your body composition.
What are the best plyometric exercises?
Try the following plyometric exercises for the most effective results.
1. Box jumps
Stand in front of a box that is at or slightly below knee height. Get into a quarter squat and explosively jump up so your feet are on top of the box, then step back down and repeat.
2. Hidden jumps
To do this, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then jump up and tuck your knees into your chest. Extend your legs and land softly, bend your knees slightly, then repeat.
3. Depth jumps
Stand on a box or step about 12 inches high, then jump and land gently on the floor. As you do this, your knees should bend slightly. Return to the box or stepper and repeat.
4. Bench press throws
Lie on a bench with your feet flat on the floor and grab a Smith Machine bar. Grasp it a little wider than shoulder-width apart, then remove it from the rack. Lower the bar to your chest and then explosively press the bar up, throwing it as high as you can. Grab the bar on the way down and lower it toward your chest.
5. Lateral boundaries
With your knees slightly bent, be sure to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Side bound to right, landing on right foot. Immediately connected to the left, landing on the left foot. Keep switching sides.
As with any exercise, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over time. In case of pain, you should avoid doing plyometric exercises and stop doing them before fatigue.
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