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Drills for Plyometrics that Achieve Outstanding Results

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

Drills for plyometrics are specific exercises designed to improve your performance in sports, along with the overall strength and conditioning of the targeted muscle groups. Here, we’ll detail some specific drills of this unique and beneficial form of training.

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    The drills for plyometrics outlined in this article are designed to give you a basic understanding of what these explosive exercises are all about and how to do them. The first article in this two-part series offered a detailed explanation of what plyometrics are, along with stating that they are considered cardio exercises. As in any type of exercise program, you have practice according to your conditioning level, and what you’re capable of, to reduce the chances of injury. For some helpful information related to that, read What Are Good Exercises for My Body Type?

    Plyometrics are by nature rigorous movements, which pound your body due to the repetitive jumping involved in a lot of them. Strength and quickness should be your mantra while performing them. Augment them into your weekly fitness schedule, as it isn’t advisable to over train with this activity. If you really want a comprehensive listing of all that is available, High Powered Plyometrics, by Robert C. Farentinos, is an excellent book that presents 77 advanced exercises. You can buy it here, at Now on to some popular drills to get you started.

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    Plyometric Push-Up

    Assume the push-up position, (called the plank pose in yoga) with arms and hands under your shoulder supporting your weight. Lower yourself like in a normal pushup and then explode up, pushing your body in the air, so that your hands leave the ground. Land on your hands and lower yourself back down immediately and repeat. For a more advanced version, clap your hands together while in the air. Three sets of fifteen is an exemplary goal to work toward.

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    Jump to Box

    Plyometric boxes used for this are essentially the same step units you’ll find in aerobics classes in the gym, which you can stack for more of a challenge. But if you want one at home, read all about what to look for at Adjustable Plyometric Boxes. Stand about a foot away from the box with your feet just a little wider than hip-width apart. Lower your body about half-way down to a squat position, and then spring up to the box. Remember it's a quick-fire movement, so don't linger in your semi-squat position. Step down off the box and repeat for as many as you can handle (50 to 100 depending upon your fitness level). It sounds easy enough, but it will burn those quads in a hurry. This same exercise can be done laterally, so you’re jumping to the side.

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    Lateral Hurdle Jumps

    Stand to the side of your box. Pop your knees up so that your body clears the box. Land on both feet and jump right back. Like jump roping, keep it up for as long as you can. Work your way up to 50 and then keep going if you can.

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    Sports Fitness Advisor has great animated versions of the above exercises if you’re unclear about what they look like. Google plyometrics and check out some of the video results for any of the exercises that you want to try. Pay particular attention to form and technique before you give it a go. Once you’ve incorporated plyometric drills into your fitness regimen for a while, you will start to feel the powerful results that they can generate.

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    Sports Fitness Advisor

    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