Plyometrics and Why I Love Them

Some days my workouts seem to fly by, and I’m left sweating, smiling, and glowing with the rush of endorphins to my brain. Even a quick workout perks up the rest of my day and makes me feel stronger and more capable – especially when that workout involves plyometrics.

It can be quite challenging for people to find the right balance of exercise type, frequency, and duration to suit their body type and lifestyle. Some people are too sedentary, while others are pushing themselves to dangerous extremes with fad programs like Crossfit. I think that the principle of effectively exercising can be fairly simple – think about it logically. There is a lot of conflicting advice out there, but listening and responding to your body is important. Examples of conflicting exercise advice include:

  1. Don’t change your workout every single day (it’s not all about shocking your body), versus;  don’t do the same exercises everyday, because you will plateau and/or lose motivation.
  2. Warm up before a workout, versus; don’t warm up before a workout, and certainly do not stretch.
  3. Workout for only 15 minutes a day, versus; exercise 60-90 minutes per day.

There are copious other examples of contrasting exercise advice out there, and I’m certainly not advocating any single method for achieving your health-related goals. Always keep in mind that exercise and workout regimes are likely to be as unique as you are.

However, plyometrics can be fun, versatile, and effective for improving strength, coordination, and flexibility. Plyometrics, or ‘jump training’, is meant to increase muscle power and explosiveness and began as training for Olympic athletes (WebMD). It is effective for athletes of all shapes and sizes because it mimics common motions used in sports and “conditions the body with dynamic resistance exercises that rapidly stretch a muscle (eccentric phase) and then rapidly shorten it (concentric phase)” (WebMD). Due to the rapidity of exercises in plyometrics, it is wise to always consult with a physician before beginning this form of workout (WebMD).

The benefits of plyometrics are many, and the workouts are as fun as Zumba or similar energy-intensive workouts. If you’re looking for a new dimension to add to your workout routine, plyometrics could be a useful addition!

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