Plyometrics – One Form Of Exercise, But What Is It?

Plyometrics, as defined in Wikipedia: Plyometrics, also known as “jump training” or “plyos”, are exercises based around having muscles exert maximum force in as short a time as possible, with the goal of increasing both speed and power. This training focuses on learning to move from a muscle extension to a contraction in a rapid or “explosive” way, for example with specialized repeated jumping. Plyometrics are primarily used by athletes, especially martial artists, high jumpers, to improve performance,and are used in the fitness field to a much lesser degree.

Personally I had never heard of Plyometrics until I did the P90X fitness program, one of the signature fitness programs put out by a company called Beachbody. I personally never enjoyed going to the gym, nor do I run much. At home fitness is something I’ve always enjoyed, and after more than two decades of building a home gym, I now find myself enjoying exercises that are performed in front of the TV with my body weight and some dumbbells (my Nordic Track, Elliptical, Treadmill, and Single Stack Weight Machine get very little use now). There is no equipment used in the P90X Plyometrics routine. It’s a series of various moves repeated in two rounds of each set. It works pretty much every muscle in some form.

I made this video showing clips of each of the moves from the P90X Plyometrics program to give you a better idea of what Plyometrics is:

As you can see, Plyometrics can be pretty intense. It really works the lower body while burning off quite a few calories (according to my Polar watch, that 57 minute workout which includes 7 minutes of warm-up burned around 600 calories, although I never trust the readings to be all that accurate). This is just one example of a variety of exercises you can do to keep yourself active and fit. Personally, I have found that the fitness programs in the Beachbody library provide me routines to work my entire body with a mixture of resistance and cardio training.

Working out at home isn’t for everybody. The key is to find an exercise routine that you will enjoy doing each day to keep you active, whether it be the gym, running, cycling, etc.. If you happen to be interested in an at home based workout, check out the useful links section to get an idea of the programs Beachbody has.

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