What if fitness was just a hop, skip, and a jump away? Add some plyometric moves to the mix and it just might be.
Plyometrics—sometimes referred to as jump training—refers to explosive training moves designed to increase power, balance, speed, and agility. The method was originally developed for Olympic athletes, but has since become a popular fitness tool for people of all ability levels.
Plyometric exercises often mimic the motions used in sports, such as skiing, tennis, or basketball. In our valley, plyometric moves become popular in the fall when we start focusing on ski conditioning—but the benefits aren’t limited to skiing. You can use plyometric moves year-round to build and maintain fitness.
Why It Works
Plyometric moves rapidly stretch a muscle (eccentric phase) and then rapidly shorten it (concentric phase). This stretch-shortening cycle has been shown to improve reflexes, strengthen muscles, increase muscular power, and reduce the force of impact on joints. The method prompts what is known as the myotactic reflex of muscle—in short, it improves the power of muscular contraction.
Plyometric exercise has been shown to:
Jump to It
If you want to incorporate some plyometric moves into your fitness routine, start small and build from there. Try these moves: