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Is Plyometrics Considered a Cardio Workout?

written by: Daniel P. McGoldrick • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 4/30/2010

Are you wondering if plyometrics is considered a cardio workout? I was curious myself, so let’s discover the answer together, after a basic explanation of what these types of exercises are.

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    An Overview of What Plyometric Exercises Are

    So, is plyometrics cardio? People may wonder about what that answer is for several reasons. If you’re anything like me, you might hope the answer is yes, just because some plyometric exercises tend to wear me down rather quickly. Especially the one where you set up a low platform, and jump up to it, then back down, over and over for as long as you can. Just like HIIT Training, plyometric conditioning will demand a great deal of you in a shorter time frame than other activities.

    Therefore, hopefully, doing a plyometric fitness routine is like killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. If you’re only mildly aware of what plyometrics are, then we should briefly go over that. Professional athletes have long been privy to the benefits of these types of strengthening drills, but now they’re readily available to anyone interested in getting in good shape. The key is to be safe and realistic about starting such routines. Some specific drills, including the amount of sets and repetitions, will be detailed in the second article of this two-part plyometrics overview. Just click on the convenient link at the bottom of the article.

    Plyometrics are explosive movements whereby muscles are loaded abruptly, and stretched (like pulling back the hammer on a pistol), and then fired (contracted) to produce the movement. So muscle elasticity is a factor. Plyometric exercises entail quick, repetitive stretching and contracting of the targeted muscle groups in order to increase muscle power. Powerful, fast muscles are the desired goal of this kind of strenuous training. Following through with them consistently will achieve that result. Professional basketball players jump higher and Olympic track athletes improve all their events due to these types of these explosive routines. All of them are rigorous and you will be more than winded and aching after a few sets when you first begin them.

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    Alright, So Is Plyometrics Cardio or Not?

    The answer is yes, provided you practice for an extended period of time, and adhere to the short rest breaks between sets. Plyometrics, when done properly, will get your heart rate up in a hurry, to what is considered a cardiovascular level. So it’s important to warm up before engaging with these exercises, along with some stretching. Nothing keeps a body stretched and in alignment like a good yoga class. Read Yoga has Far-Reaching Bennefits on your Physical and Mental Well-Being to learn more about that. The muscles, along with the surrounding ligaments, tissues, and tendons that surround them, are pushed to their limits while they’re being strengthened in the plyometric process.

    Since the explosive nature of plyometric training can produce as much as 20 times your body weight, you need to be very careful about using the proper techniques, and not over train, so that you injure yourself. That is where the Web becomes such a useful tool to your fitness endeavors. Use your Google search engine to find plyometric exercise examples and you will find a wealth of images and videos that teach you how to correctly do them. Now that we’ve answered that question, let’s move on to some specific plyometric drills in the next article to help get you started.

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    Farentinos, Robert C. High Powered Plyometrics. New York: Human Kinetics; 2nd edition 1999.

Plyometric Exercises: Inject Your Workouts With Strength

Plyometric exercises are an outstanding way to increase muscle strength and foster agility. But are these exercises considered a cardio workout? This article answers that question and provides some specific drills to augment into your weekly regimen.
  1. Is Plyometrics Considered a Cardio Workout?
  2. Drills for Plyometrics that Achieve Outstanding Results