Different Kinds of Plyometric Exercises

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The object of plyometric exercises is to train your body to reach maximum strength in an extremely short period of time. Plyometrics involve activities such as running, jumping, throwing and catching. Because of the intensity of the workouts and the stress put on the body, these exercises are favored by skilled athletes; but can be performed by people who are in great shape and who can enlist a trainer to supervise.

Forward Ab Throw

The forward ab throw exercise targets and strengthens your abdominal muscles. This is a fairly simple exercise but, due to the intensity and strain that it puts on your body, only seasoned athletes should train using this plyometric exercise. Kneel on the ground and hold a medicine ball behind your head. Raise your head and upper back off of the floor. Tighten your abs and push the ball away from you. While doing this exercise, bend at the wrists and extend your arms all the way out when you throw the ball.

Depth Jumps

One type of plyometric exercise is the depth jump. This exercise focuses on increasing an athlete's jumping height and forward distance. To begin a depth jump, position a box that is three feet high on a flat surface; clear of any objects. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Distribute your weight on your heels. Step off the box, landing on the balls of your feet. If height is your goal, immediately after landing, propel your body upward; and if distance is your goal, you should aim forward when jumping.

Four Line Hop Drill

The four line hop drill helps you develop agility while increasing the strength in your legs, as well as your coordination. First, draw a 5-by-5-foot square on a level surface. Label the sides "A" through "D." Begin by standing on point A. Quickly jump to point C, then immediately to point B. Finish the sequence by jumping to point D. Repeat as many times as possible in 30 seconds. Once you have mastered this set, consider mixing up the order of the points to increase difficulty level.

Additional Information and Warnings

While plyometric exercises are effective for most competitive athletes, the National Strength and Conditioning Association says that only athletes who have high levels of strength and have trained properly should engage in plyometric programs. Furthermore, depth jumps should not be attempted by anyone over 220 lbs. due to the weight and force of the individual when landing. To avoid injury, you should wear the proper shock absorption shoes and complete a thorough warm-up program before beginning any type of plyometric routine.