Bodyweight exercises are fantastic for building strength and tone muscle but add plyometric features like jumps or explosive movements and the workout takes on a whole new dimension.
Benefits of plyometric exercise
Plyometric workouts have been proven to build muscle, burn fat, and improve athletic performance, speed, and power. Also known as ‘jump training’, plyometric exercises are usually geared towards people with higher physical conditioning, however, they can also be used by people wishing to improve their fitness.
Below we have five beginner exercises that can take your workout to a new level.
Clap push up
Start by performing a standard push-up, but as you push back up, increase the force so that both hands leave the ground and you are able to quickly clap them together before landing. To make it a bit easier, drop to your knees and clap the same way.
Do three sets of five and increase as your level increases.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and dip down to squat position. Press up through your feet and jump up explosively engaging your abs. Raise your arms overhead as you jump.
Upon landing, lower yourself back down to the squatting position.
Do three sets of five reps and increase accordingly.
Lunge leg switch
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and step your right foot back, settling into a low reverse lunge. Shift all your weight to your left foot, bring your right foot forward and simultaneously jump off your left foot. Land softly on your right foot and immediately step back with your left foot into a low lunge to repeat.
Do three sets of five on each leg. Increase as necessary.
For this exercise, you will need a box or something stable and sturdy to jump on that’s 1’ - 3’ high (30cm - 90cm).
Start from standing position, squat down to jump onto the box with both feet. Swing your arms up as you jump to increase momentum. Once landed, jump backward off the box, gently landing with bent knees.
Do three sets of six repetitions. Increase height and reps as necessary. Increase the intensity by doing the exercise using one leg.
Everyone's favourite exercise.
From a standing start, bend your legs to come into a squat position. As you jump down into push up position - place your hands down on the ground as you jump your feet back into a plank position, keeping your body straight. Do one push up then jump your feet forward, coming into squat position and explode up and clapping your arms overhead.
Do three sets of five reps. Increase as necessary.