There was a time when you were young, and jumping rope with your friends, or hopping along in a game of “Who can do it farther, and faster” was a part of your daily exercise routine. Luckily, now with a plyometrics workout, you can get back to that fun, and functional form of exercise (jumping, hopping, etc.) you once loved. Got a bad knee, or a temperamental lower back? Have no fear, because this article will teach you how to do it right.
While plyometrics isn’t the core-focused workout you need to strengthen your mid-section and support its surrounding ligaments and muscles, it is a killer workout for your lower body. Targeting the quads and glutes specifically, you can develop a great butt lifting and leg strengthening workout to add to your mix. In addition, and because plyometrics incorporates stretching, you’ll increase your flexibility and a fantastic way to build muscle.
Because the high impact of plyometrics can be rough on your joints, this isn’t a workout you want to do every day. However, it is a great way to add variety to your already existing weight training and resistance routine. If you have trouble with your joints, here are some tips to help you ease your comfort (so you can focus on achieving toned legs and a tight butt!):
- Make sure your form is perfect. Because plyometrics is an exercise heavy in jumping, it’s essential that your shoulders are back, your chin is up and that you land as softly and slow as possible. After each jump, take enough time to prevent injury from moving to the next move too quickly.
- Don’t be afraid to modify your workout. There’s nothing wrong with modifying a plyometric workout, especially if you’re prone to knee, ankle, back or shoulder discomfort. Talk to your doctor about using a brace (they can be custom made), and/or you can adjust the height in which you jump.
- Focus on a conditioning workout plan. Knee joint pain is no laughing matter. So, no matter where you joint pain lies, listen to your body. As you do jumping lunges, lateral jumps or burpees, focus on how your body feels. Does it feel tense? Do you experience twinges of sharp or dull pain? If so, stop and take a day or two off by instead conditioning your body to strengthen in a gentler, lower impact way. Ride a stationary bike, go for a walk, or swim some laps.
Your body is your temple, so the most important thing is to always listen to what it needs. If you’re in discomfort, stop your workout or simply modify the jumps, hops and squats you’re doing. When you give your body what it needs, it’ll give back with increased flexibility, strength and agility!