You are here

5 Plyo Moves to Sub for Cardio (Sometimes!)

Corbis Images

If you've been hitting the gym double-time and still aren't seeing results, you could be hitting a workout plateau. Instead of spending more time sweating, shorten your routine by using plyometric movements that combine cardio and strength to give you a well-rounded workout in less time.

"Practicing plyometrics regularly will increase your speed and power, plus get you shredded," says Grace Menendez, a trainer at Crunch gyms in NYC. The goal is to exert maximum force in short intervals of time, she adds. In other words, adding these few movements below can totally replace your regular cardio routine.

Kettlebell Swings

Crunch Kettlebell Swing

A Stand with feet hip-width apart and place a 12kg kettlebell (for newbies) or 16kg kettlebell (for advanced users) on the floor about 18-inches in front of you. Push hips back and bend knees enough to place hands on the bell handle.
B Tilt the bell back towards you as you hike it through legs, hinging at hips as you inhale.
C Stand-up completely straight as you exhale, squeezing glutes and straightening knees at the top of the swing. Continue the swings for 10 minutes. At the top of each minute, swing the bell 10 times, then rest.

Plyo Pushups

Crunch - Plyo Pushup

A Start in a pushup position, fingers spread wide to create a firm foundation, belly-button drawn in towards spine.
B
Inhale and lower chest towards the ground like in a standard push-up. As you exhale, push forcefully off the ground as hands lift off. As you land, be sure to land with elbows bent to protect joints. Make it easier by placing knees on the ground, or harder by adding a clap in between push-ups. Work up to 3 sets of 10 reps.

Box Jumps

Crunch- Box Jump

A Stand in front of a surface around knee-height. Use a bench, plyo box, or even stairs to practice this move. Start with feet about as wide if in a squat.
Bend knees, and bring hands behind you at your sides. Jump onto the box, making sure to stand up all the way by straightening knees at the top and extending hips fully.
C Jump or step back to start. Set a timer for 5 sets of 30 seconds with a 30 seconds rest and jump as many times as possible.

V-Ups

Crunch - V-Up

A Start lying on back, palms facing down, arms at sides.
B Sit-up as you bend at the waist, keeping legs straight and reaching hands to toes. Set a timer and go for 5 rounds of 30 seconds with a 30 second rest in between each set.

Body Saws

Crunch - Bodysaw

A Start in a plank position, forearms on the ground. Place a towel under toes.
B Press firmly into the ground with arms and pike hips up using lower abs as you slide back and forth on the towel. Do 3-5 rounds for 30 seconds.