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What is plyometric training and should you be doing it?

It may sound intimidating, but plyometric training is an exciting, energetic and versatile type of cardio – and it’s good for people of all abilities and experience levels. Using the speed and force of different dynamic movements, working out this way boosts your all-round fitness and increases your muscle power.

If you’re looking to inject some fun and intensity into your fitness routine, join us as we jump into the world of plyometrics.

Which exercises are used in plyometric training?

Plyometrics are sometimes referred to as “jump training”, so it’s no surprise that most plyometric exercises involve leaving the ground in one way or another. Skipping, burpees and tuck jumps are all plyo staples, but you can also incorporate:

  • Jump lunges: Jump as you alternate between lunge positions.
Trainer demonstrating lunge jumps
  • Broad jumps: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and jump forwards as far as you can.
Trainer demonstrating broad jumps
  • Box jumps: Standing jumps onto the top of a box, landing with both feet as softly as possible.
Trainer demonstrating box jumps
  • Plyometric push-ups: Dynamic push-ups in which both hands leave the ground (add a hand clap for extra flair!).
Trainer demonstrating plyometric push ups

The benefits of plyo training

Plyometric exercises are all about explosive movement, which makes for an incredible cardiovascular workout. Your heart and lungs will be put through their paces, though of course you should tailor your session to your own ability. For example, reduce the number of reps in a set if you’re finding it particularly tough.

Cardio isn’t the only benefit of plyometrics. You can also expect regular plyo training to:

  • Burn lots of calories: Fast, dynamic movements use more energy than typical strength sessions.
  • Increase your metabolism: Thanks to the intensity of your workout, your body will continue to burn calories long after your session ends.
  • Boost your power and speed: Intense exertion of the muscles increases their elasticity and strength. You’ll find you perform better under stress and your body will become more robust – making you less susceptible to injury.
  • Improve your stamina: You’ll become more resilient to tougher challenges if you regularly include plyometrics in your workouts.

Can anybody do plyometric training?

Although “intensity” is a key word when it comes to plyometrics, it’s all relative. As long as you’re pushing to your own limits, you can incorporate plyo into your routine and reap the benefits.

If you’re new to this type of training or need a low-impact workout, all you have to do is start low and slow. If you can’t manage the same height or the same number of reps as the person next to you, that’s fine. It’s all about giving your maximum effort to work your cardio system and challenge your muscles.

Remember too that plyo doesn’t have to constitute your entire workout. Even just five minutes at the end of a strength session is plenty of time to add a short plyometric routine. If you fancy giving it a go, try repeating each of the following exercises twice (20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest):

  • 2 x skipping
  • 2 x box jumps
  • 2 x plyo push-ups
  • 2 x jump lunges

Discover IGN1TE, our signature class

IGN1TE, our High-energy HIIT class, is a great way to add plyometric training to your routine. Every IGN1TE class involves plenty of jumping, leaping, lunging, and other fun, dynamic movements, with each session choregraphed by our industry-leading experts.

Because each IGN1TE class is designed to test your whole body, it’s perfect for anyone looking for a fun combination of cardio and strength training. Our trainers will help everyone get the most from each class, so you can embrace a challenge that’s just right for your abilities.

Ready to take on an IGN1TE class? Find a David Lloyd Club near you.

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