Today's post is going to be about a word that I first learned in my strength and conditioning programming class in college - plyometrics! Plyometrics often get a bad boy reputation, because so many people think that in order to do plyometrics, one must jump 30 feet off the ground...That is not the only way to do plyo... the term "plyometrics" simply means, "an explosive movement, or a powerful movement" Technically, One could simply jump rope and receive an excellent plyometric workout. Jumping lunges and jump squats are popular plyometric exercises, but one needs to learn and practice proper form with regular lunges and jump squats before moving on to the plyometric versions of these exercises. You see, the body has golgi tendon organs which have the job of gauging how far your muscles can stretch. In order to get more out of a high-impact plyometric workout, the nervous system must be wide awake first - think of a short low-impact warm-up as a cup of coffee for your nervous system. You'll be taxing out your fast-twitch muscle fibers, which spikes your metabolism. So warm-up with some knee lifts or marching in place for a couple of minutes before starting any plyometric workout, the same goes for shoulders. If you're doing plyometric push-ups, the you could start with some regular push-ups and arm circles as a warm up. Don't forget to land with your knees slightly bent. The more spring-like your legs, the safer your landing.
Do plyo moves earlier in a strength workout, when your muscles feel strongest. This will save you from sacrificing form, and thus, injuring yourself. Short plyo workouts are best. I would not do a plyo workout longer than 30 minutes. If you need some fresh moves, and modifications, I like the following 2 dvd's: "Plyo Fix" from 21 Day Fix.(You can win an autographed copy from Autumn Calabrese this week too!) I love how Autumn clearly explains how your muscles should be engaged, and Mash-Up Conditioning's "Tempo" dvd has plyo and and modified exercises. If you want to practice the moves without the whole gym watching, this is a great way to go! Quality is better than quantity. Remember that when you're tempted to show off.
If you want to see a funny video of some sports-based plyo drill s check this out!
Last week we had a fun giveaway on the blog, and the winner is.... the lovely Diatta Harris of http://femmefitalefitclub.com/ Check out the awesome link-up she and several other amazing ladies host: