Plyometric Cardio Circuit Workouts (jump training) were introduced to the United States in the 1980s and have only grown in popularity. Plyometric focuses on using jumping and constant, changing movement in its routine. This is unlike more traditional fitness exercises like running. Where you repeat the same motion for a duration of time.
History Behind The Plyometric Cardio Circuit
The term plyometrics was actually coined by U.S Olympic long-distance runner Fred Wilt in 1975. Wilt noticed something interesting during a warm-up. Russian athletes were completing different jumps in their warm-up routine. American warm-up styles usually involved only stretching.
Wilt continued the practice of running. But also began to incorporate the Soviet jumping practices into his training. He also worked on research of the depth jump, also referred to as the shock method.
The depth jump is a tested plyometric exercise. The exercise involves the participant to begin on a box or platform. They jump off and try to rebound as high as they can. The vertical jump holds significant influence over an athlete’s performance.
Studies on the Plyometric Cardio Circuit
A 1998 study was conducted at the University of Rochester Medical Center. It revealed that the structure of a two- joint-muscle powers the vertical jump. It means that the muscles that span at least two joints hold the power to a vertical jump. Also to quick, precise movement. These include your thighs, quad, hamstrings, or calves.
Plyometric requires much muscle strength and coordination to perform. So the workout should be geared towards individuals with a solid athletic foundation. Modified versions of the exercises can be used by less-seasoned athletes or beginners. Plyometric exercises are a great way to advance your training routines to the next level.
Why go Plyo?
Here are four benefits of a plyometric cardio circuit:
1. Increased Agility
Plyometric exercises involve major leg muscles. Using these muscles in different ways increases agility. The ability to move quickly and without difficulty. Become comfortable with your muscles. Making them move can benefit anyone looking for faster and precise movements.
2. It’s a Great Way to Mix Up Your Training
Are you getting tired of the same routine? Getting bored running on the treadmill looking at the TVs at the gym? Mix it up and shock your body with some plyometric exercises. Your body and muscles need to try new activities to produce that feel-good burn and get your heart rate up. When we continue doing the same things, our bodies get used to it. Nothing is challenging us to become faster or stronger in different ways. You need to mix it up so you can keep seeing your results. Especially for those trying to lose weight or slim down some of those problem areas.
3. Improves Your Cardiovascular Fitness
Plyometric is cardio exercise. Try a plyometric class and wait to find out how little time it takes to get you sweating and aching. Following a plyometric cardio circuit is a great way to increase your cardiovascular fitness. It’s a different kind of exercise that our bodies may not have experienced before. So, it will be a heart-racing opportunity to get your sweat on!
4. Increased Proprioception
Proprioception describes your understanding of your self in relation to your environment. Much like yoga, plyometric exercise needs you to tune-in to different parts of your body. It’s a chance to center your understanding of yourself. As opposed to an understanding of your environment. This is a great exercise to make you more aware of your body and how it can move. Haven’t we all overestimated how small we were and tried to squeeze somewhere we don’t fit? It can be a little embarrassing. Plyometrics can help you improve your footing and movements. So you can stop bumping into people and catching your shoulder in the doorway.
Top Plyometric Cardio Circuit Exercises
There are a lot of different activities that are plyometric cardio circuit exercises or plyometric related. If you are not confident enough or comfortable going totally plyometric, that’s okay! Yoga or even Pilates can be a great way to get started with agility-based cardio activities. Use them until you feel comfortable going for those more popular plyometric moves.
If you are ready to give plyometric a try, here are some great activities to add to your exercise routine. They will amp up your workout:
- Box Jumps
- Box Squat to Box Jump
- Squat Jumps
- Toe Taps
- Jumping Pushups
- Lateral Jumps
- Jumping Lunges
- Jumping Jacks
- Plank Jumping Jacks
As if lunges weren’t difficult enough already. But trust me, these are the exercises that you will feel. For less-seasoned athletes or beginners, these sound crazy. If you’ve done any of these exercises before you know how much they hurt and how difficult they are to complete.
Try a few at a time to get started. You’ll want to get started because these are the workouts that will give you a visual result. I’m not saying instant results. But a few consecutive minutes of burpees may earn you at least sort-of instant results.
Plyometric exercises are intense for a reason. These are the activities that need high energy levels to perform. Think of the burpee, you have to jump up, then squat down, hold a plank, and then jump back up.
It will continue challenging your body and you’ll feel like you’ll never get used to it. They are tiring and they will leave you sore. That’s why plyometric exercises continue to be so popular: these exercises work.
You might get comfortable with crunches or sit-ups, but plank jumping jacks? That will get you sweating, I promise. Plyometric exercises have many target areas. You might need to rely on your biceps, chest muscles, and glutes in one move.
Try a little of each exercise to get started. Try to develop your routine with variety and do 5 burpees followed by 5 box jumps. Get your quads and calves burning. Alternate between jumping lunges and jumping squats.
Stretching is Critical Before Starting Plyometric Cardio Circuit Exercises!
I cannot stress enough how important it is to get your muscles warmed up and ready to move before you jump right in. Precision is critical for optimal results and optimal safety. These exercises target so many muscles and joints at once. You are at serious risk of injury if you 1) do the exercise wrong or 2) you do too much too fast.
I know, we all want to become experts at something really fast. After all, we are an instant result and fast-paced society. But, it is important to listen to your body and to pay close attention to how particular exercises make you feel.
Try a few exercises after stretching. See what areas you might need a little more work in before testing out plyometric exercises. Be careful before trying a bunch of modified jumping, squatting, and lunging exercises. Especially if you have had past knee injuries.
It is also important to get some rest between plyometric exercises. You need to give your body a chance to recover after plyometric exercises. They are difficult and can make some muscles ache, so give yourself a chance to recover from any soreness.
Plyometric exercises are a great way to increase strength, speed, and agility. And give an added challenge to your workout routines. Be precise and attentive when trying plyometric exercises to prevent serious injury. After all these safety tips and warnings, don’t forget to have fun. Enjoy the results plyometric exercises have on your body!
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