4 High-Intensity Plyometrics Exercises for Cardio

By Nathan.Gotch On 28/9/2012. no comments

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Plyometrics are one of the top cardio training exercises. The movements involved within these exercises include vertical and horizontal jumping, single leg jumps, platform jumps, and quick feet. Some of these exercises may require free weights and an exercise platform. There are hundreds of plyometric exercises including side-to-side box jumps, weighted explosions, med ball explosions, and depth jumps.

Plyos are a highly effective cardio option because of the high-level of intensity involved within a given routine. These exercises will increase anaerobic and muscular endurance. However, the most desirable aspect of plyometrics is its ability to not only effectively decrease fat, but the exercises will also successfully build lean muscle.

Plyometrics Exercises for Cardio

Image Credit: Verticaljumping.com

Below, I will explain 4 high-intensity plyometric exercises that you can easily incorporate into your cardio or strength training regime.

1. Side-to-Side Box Jumps

For side-to-side box jumps, you will need a small platform. You will start by standing on the side of the platform, and begin by exploding sideways, tucking your knees as you cross the platform, and landing on your toes on the other side.

Once you hit the opposite side, you will immediately bounce back.

You will continue this non-stop jumping motion for 8-10 repetitions. In a typical plyometrics routine, you would perform three sets for this exercise. This is a great plyo exercise for beginners, and will prepare you for the more advanced exercises.

2. Weighted Explosions

A more advanced plyo exercise is weighted explosions. This exercise you will need to dumbbells of appropriate weight. If you are just starting out, I recommend starting out light with maybe 10-pound dumbbells.

You will start with your knees slightly bent and with the dumbbells down to your sides.

Start by squat down and then forcefully explode your body upward into a jumping motion. Try to get as high as possible. Land softly back into the squat position, and explode upward once again.

There is no rest between each explosion. Perform 8-10 jumps for about three sets.

3. Medicine Ball Explosions

The final plyo exercise is medicine ball explosions. As the title indicates, you will need a medicine ball for this exercise. Start out light, and work your way up. You will start by holding the medicine ball at your chest with both hands.

Make sure you’re in an area with plenty of space.

Begin by squatting down, and then forcefully explode upwards, shooting the medicine ball into the air. You can catch the catch the ball or let it hit the ground. Just be careful if you decide to catch it because it could potentially hurt the wrists.

There should be no rest between each explosion, and you should perform 8-10 reps for three sets.

4. Depth Jumps

This is undoubtedly one of the best plyometric exercises. You will need some type of platform to jump off, and you should choose one that is specific to your level of advancement. Don’t grab the tallest exercise platform if you’re just starting out.

You will begin by standing on top of the platform. Then, you will simply step off (not jump off) the platform, landing on your toes and slightly bending your knees upon impact. Once your feet reach the ground, then you will immediately explode upward. Get back on the platform and repeat for about 8-10 repetitions.

The most important thing to remember is to immediately explode up once you hit the ground. Avoid squatting in an attempt to get a more explosive jump. The purpose the depth-jumps is to increase the strength of fast-twitch muscle fibers. So make sure you’re exploding upward as fast as possible.

I hope you incorporate some of these plyometric exercises in your cardio or strength training routine because you will see some serious gains. If you’re looking additional cardio training exercises, I recommend reading 26 High-Intensity Cardio Exercises for Fat Loss.

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