The plyometric lunge is a power exercise that requires you to perform lunging exercises at a faster rate and higher intensity. This increases neural stimulation to your muscles and joints to move faster with higher awareness of coordination and balance while improving response time with each repetition. There are several versions of plyometric lunges you can perform to improve muscular stamina, coordination, balance and endurance.
Basic Plyometric Lunge
To do the basic plyometric lunge, stand with your left foot in front of you and point both feet forward. Lunge down while leaning your torso forward slightly without rounding your spine. Exhale and jump straight up, swinging your arms over your head and extending your torso. Land gently on the ground in the same position as you had started and repeat the jump as fast as you can for three sets of 10 reps per side.
Criss-Cross Plyometric Lunge
This exercise is similar to the basic plyometric lunge, except that you switch your leg position with every repetition. Start in the same position as the previous exercise. When you jump straight up with your arms over your head, switch your leg position in mid-air and land gently on the ground with your knees bent. Your right foot should now be in front of you. Perform three sets of 10 to 20 reps as fast as you can with control.
With both exercises, you can move in different directions as you jump up and lunge, such as moving to the front, back, left and right. You can also turn your body in mid-air about 45 or 90 degrees from your starting position and move in a clockwise or counter-clockwise pattern. Play with different directions and determine whether one side of your body is more coordinated than the other side. If one side is less coordinated, perform an extra set in each training session on that side until both sides feel relatively equal, suggests Coach Vern Gambetta, author of "Athletic Development."
Because of the high-intensity and high-impact nature of this exercise, you should not perform this exercise if you cannot perform a normal lunge well or if you experience pain in your body. Consult with a qualified exercise professional before attempting this exercise.
- Athletic Body in Balance; Gray Cook
- Athletic Development; Vern Gambetta
Nick Ng has been writing fitness articles since 2003, focusing on injury prevention and exercise strategies. He has covered health for "MiaBella" magazine. Ng received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and has been a certified fitness coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.