Plyometric style training involves using motion style exercises to help develop fast and powerful movements. Many sports athletes use them in a training regime to help with speed and power in drills that mimic actions they will use in their chosen sports. Unlike weight exercises in the gym, plyos typically use just bodyweight for resistance.
Really you are looking at something that helps your body practice being explosive and agile in real time. As great as doing squats is for leg muscles, you still need to practice translating that power into useful movements on the football field, the basketball court, or wherever.
This plyometric routine is a great addition for any sports athlete to improve your explosive power in the legs as well as learning coordination for the entire body in doing these movements.
Explosive Plyo Training
Do these exercises as a circuit then rest a minute before repeating the circuit two to three times.
- Standing Jump & Reach – Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees bent, bent forward at the waist, and arms hanging by your side. Crouch down slightly and then explode straight up, raising your arms overhead as high as you can as you jump (keeping your legs straight). Land with bent knees on the balls of your feet and immediately begin the next rep. Aim for 8 to 12 repetitions.
- Twisting Hops – Start in a similar position as the Jump & Reach. This time jump up and twist to your left 180 degrees. Land on the balls of your feet with bent knees and immediately crouch down and jump up and twist back to your right. Aim for 8 to 12 repetitions.
- Front Hops – Some people use boxes or cones to jump over or you can just try and jump as high and far as possible. From the starting position crouch down and then hop forward keeping your feet close together. Lift your knees towards your chest and use a swinging arm motion for added momentum. Land lightly and immediately take off on another jump. Shoot for 6 to 8 leaps.
- Side-to-Side Hops – This is the same idea as Front Hops except you jump side to side. Start by jumping to the left and then return to the right to complete 1 repetition. Aim for 8 to 12 total hops.
- Sprint – Mark off approximately 50 yards and run sprint heats. Try and push off your legs as fast as possible. Walk back to the start line to complete the repetition. Fire off 4 to 6 sprints.
- Box Jumps – Get a big box or platform about 1 foot wide and 1 to 2 feet across. Stand to the side of the box with your closet foot on it. Push off from that leg and leap sideways over the box to land on the other side of the box on 1 foot with the other foot on the ground. Then jump back to complete one repetition. Jump 4 to 6 times back and forth.
- Rebound Jumps – Start by standing on the box from the previous exercise. Bend your knees, lean forward, and hop down from the box. As you land softly, dip into a deep squat and then explode upward reaching your arms straight up in the air like you did with the first exercise. Land and jog back to the box and aim for 8 to 12 repetitions.
As you can see these exercises are going to help improve your speed, explosion, and power in a variety of ways that impact all sorts of sports including basketball, tennis, football, soccer, and baseball. Anytime you are running, twisting, jumping, or changing direction quickly you will use the muscles you trained with this workout.