Plyometric Workout: Jump Away the Jiggle
Spring into Action!
Here's some news that will have you jumping for joy: Studies show that adding plyometric exercises to your workout routine can help build bone density and prevent injuries, as well as improve power, strength, and agility while zapping excess fat. Plyometrics (jump training) refers to movements that stretch a muscle before contracting it, like when you land a squat jump and then immediately jump back up again.
This high-flying workout is ideal for blasting calories and sculpting a lean, athletic lower body in the shortest amount of time.
How it works: Two times a week, do 1 set of each exercise in order, resting 30 seconds between moves. Do 3 circuits total. Your nervous system needs time to recover from this strenuous workout, so you should not do it more than twice a week. Don't be discouraged if you need some time to work your way up to the full routine. You can start with fewer repetitions and/or sets and add more when you're ready.
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and shift your hips back as you swing arms directly behind you. Explosively jump off the ground as high as possible, while swinging arms up over head. Land softly with knees bent, coming back down into a squat position. Make sure to keep chest lifted as you jump. Do 10 reps.
Stand on your left leg. Bend your knee, shift your hips back, and explosively jump toward right side. Land softly on your right leg with knee bent.
Drive out of the ball of your big toe and jump back toward left side. That's one rep. Continue jumping from side to side, keeping your chest lifted. Do 5 reps (10 jumps) total.
Plank with Leg Lift
Reps: 10 per side
Come into a plank position with elbows directly below shoulders and feet hip-width apart. Brace your abs in tight and engage your glutes to lift your left leg off the ground. Return your leg to the floor and immediately lift your right leg. Continue to alternate, lifting each leg to hip height (no higher). Keep bellybutton up and in and legs engaged the entire time. Make sure to keep your hips level. Do 10 leg lifts on each side.
Stand on a step, bench, or box with feet hip-width apart. Step off the box, landing with both feet at the same time. Make sure to land softly with knees bent. Explosively jump as high as possible off the ground. Quickly come back to standing on the box and repeat. Do 10 reps.
Reps: 5 per side
You can perform this move with a box, step, or bench, or simply jump without any equipment at all.
Come onto your right leg. Bend your knee, shift hips back, and jump as high as possible off the ground (possibly on top of a box, step, or bench). Land softly with knee bent. Make sure knee does not track too far over toes and focus on pushing your hips back behind you. Do 5 reps on each side.
Side Plank with Leg Lift
Come into a side plank with elbow directly below shoulder, feet stacked. Press your hips up and keep them high during the entire exercise.
Lift your top leg up, keeping it straight the entire time. Keep foot flexed and toes pointed down to engage the gluteus medius (side of rear). Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.