A great way to switch up your traditional lower body workout is by adding in plyometric training exercises to your routine. Plyometrics are what most commonly refer to as jump training. This style of training is advanced and calls for explosive movements throughout the workout. Plyometric training uses *fast twitch muscle fibers (Type II) during the explosive portion of the workout as opposed to your slow twitch fibers (Type I) which are generally utilized if you are running or using the elliptical for more long term endurance based training. Plyometric training requires a great deal of muscular stamina and cardio endurance, so listen to your body and take rests as needed. You will definitely get an exhausting workout that will build your buns in no time!
When performing these exercises, be sure to land softly. Use a padded surface to land and avoid landing on hard or concrete floors. If you have a pre-existing injury, please take caution when trying plyometric training as it can be rough on your knees.
Description of Exercises:
4 Corner Jump Squats– Begin facing a corner of the room with your feet hip width apart and toes pointed out slightly. Drop down into a squat position and then push up through your feet and do a quarter turn in mid air. Land in the squat position and hold for 2 seconds in the low position and then jump toward the next corner. The 4th squat completes one revolution. Switch up the direction you turn every few rounds.
Stationary Jump Lunges– Begin in a wide lunge stance with your back leg straight and your front leg in a 90 degree angle. Drop into a lower lunge stance and then push up through your feet so that both feet leave the ground. Land back in the low lunge position with your front knee behind your toes. Hold the low position for 2 seconds and continue.
Low Box Split Jumps– Find a low bench or box that is no more than a foot wide. Place your feet on either side of the bench in a squat position and explode up through your heels and land with both feet on top of the box. Jump back down and land in a squat position. Move quickly! This move is challenging and will be sure to get your heart pumping. Be sure that the bench is not too high to ensure safety. When beginning you can hold on to a bar for added stability.
Skater Lunges– Begin with legs in a lunge stance. Place your right leg forward and left leg angled in towards the right side. Push off of your right leg and move towards the left side. Land in a skater lunge stance with your left leg forward and right leg back. The main focus here is to travel as much distance to each side with each explosive jump. Use your arms to help build momentum. The pace should be quick and controlled. Get your upper body low and explode through each jump.
Sumo Forward Hops– Get in a wide stance squat position with your toes pointing out. Drop down low and push up through your heels jumping up and forward. Land softly in a squat position and move fast!
Lower Body Plyometric Workout:
4 Rounds- Rest 10 seconds between exercises- Rest 1 minute between rounds.
3 Revolutions (12) Jump Squats
12 Left Leg Stationary Lunge Jumps
12 Right Leg Stationary Lunges
12 Low Box Split Jumps
12 Skater Lunges Per Side
12 Sumo Forward Hops
Try to incorporate this routine into your workout once a week. You need little to no equipment and this is also a perfect way to torch some calories if your are short on time. As this routine becomes easier, challenge yourself by adding weighted dumbbells to a few of the exercises. Also be sure that you are jumping as high as possible. For those of you with temperamental knees, try these moves in a modified version by removing the jumps and adding weight but going through the full range of motion while focusing on proper form.
Are there any types of plyometric or jump exercises that you use in order to improve your athletic training and conditioning while shaping your lower body? Please share your tips in the comments section below!