10 Best Plyometric Exercises For Athletes

Whether your fitness goal is to be able to run faster, jump higher, lift heavier weights, or increase your agility, plyometrics are great exercises for any athlete to incorporate into their workout routine. Plyometric exercises consist of explosive movements that are designed to increase muscle power, muscle response, and overall speed. There are a large number of movements that can be used for plyometric workouts, and all of them require you to get your body moving and up off the ground.

These exercises require the use of fast-twitch muscles, and they train the brain to activate more of these muscles more quickly by increasing the speed of muscle contraction. This is performed by increasing the speed of the stretch shortening cycle. Basically, this principle is centered on the idea that when the muscles are stretched before a contraction, such as a when you lower your body down during a squat, they are able to produce a faster and stronger contraction than if they were just contracted concentrically without being stretched beforehand.

Plyometric exercises try to make this cycle occur as quickly as possible for a number of repetitions, which can result in a large number of benefits for athletes. Some of these benefits can include stronger muscles and tendons, faster neuromuscular signaling for better reaction times, increased overall performance, more efficient calorie burning, increased muscular endurance, and more. Here are 10 of the best plyometric exercises to add to your workout.

1. Front Box Jump

Front box jumps are one of the most commonly incorporated plyometric exercises. This exercise is a great way to increase the strength of your fast-twitch muscles, and it places a large amount of load on the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. During each jump, these leg muscles and the muscles of your core are required to contract rapidly to generate as much force as possible, especially when using a higher box. These muscles are also forced to work when landing on the box to decelerate your body and cushion the landing.

When performing a front box jumps, you should get a box that measures between one and three feet in height. It should be challenging for you, but not too difficult to perform repetitions properly as you get tired. Begin by facing the box with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slightly squat down, and engage your hamstrings and glutes by hinging at the hips, but be sure to keep your chest and head up. Push through your feet and swing your arms as you jump up on the box. Try to cushion your landing to prevent any jarring motions. When you land, you should be in a squat position. Then, either hop or step back to the ground.