As a kid, we never thought twice about running and jumping. Now, as an adult, our movements tend to be much less dynamic in everyday life.
Plyometrics, sometimes called “Jump Training,” has steadily increased in popularity and is being incorporated into many workouts. The purpose of plyometrics is to improve explosive power. Plyometrics includes more than just jumping though. While tuck jumps, box jumps, and lunge jumps are all part of this type of training, upper body exercises such as plank jumps, clap pushups and medicine ball throws are all great ways to train explosively from head to toe.
There are numerous benefits to incorporating “plyo” training into your fitness routine. However, due to the intensity, plyometric workouts should be geared towards those individuals with a solid fitness base. Beginners should start with progressive modifications to help them build toward full moves.
It’s easy to make the connection that plyometric training will help power athletes in sports such as basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics, but can it help everyday fitness enthusiasts “up their game” so to speak?
The short answer is yes. Here are four ways that adding plyometric training to your fitness routine can benefit your everyday life.
1. Increased Agility & Coordination
Runners and rock climbers rejoice! If your jam is to be active (running, skiing, hiking, or even ultimate frisbee), plyometrics training can help boost your performance in whatever sports or activities you like to do. Improved footwork is a great boost to a trail running routine, and an explosive jump will help you crush that weekend pick-up basketball game.
2. Increased Cardiovascular Health and Muscle Strength
Plyometrics training focuses on increasing strength and proficiency of fast twitch muscle fibers, which helps build speed and power. In addition, plyometric exercises, especially when done in succession, can really get your heart rate up! Keep in mind, though, form matters. Always.
3. Increased Spatial Awareness
Video games have nothing on hand-eye coordination when compared to plyo training. The fancy term for this is “proprioception,” and it relates to how we sense objects around us as related to our muscles, joints, and motor skills. Spatial perception is important in everyday movements and even more so in sports, where proper coordination is essential.
4. Increased Fun.
Life is short. Mix it up. Capture the fun that jumping brought you in your childhood play. Skip, hop, and jump to mix a little fun with your fitness.