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jump-plyometricsOne of the key factors that boost muscle growth and strength is change. That’s why athletes and bodybuilders constantly learn new exercises and sneak them into their daily routine.

One training technique that’s quickly gaining favor among fitness enthusiasts is plyometric training. Often performed by field athletes, this training method involves quick muscle movements such as jumping, throwing, skipping, and others. Even though plyometrics can help tone muscles, its primary focus is to enhance athletic performance by developing speed and strength.

Adding a few plyometric exercises into a resistance training routine can open up a new workout dimension. Following are top 3 plyometric leg exercises that are guaranteed to build explosive power and boost stamina.

Jump Squat

This simple-to-do exercise is the staple of plyometric leg workouts. It’s also the most commonly recommended exercise for people who are just getting into plyometrics. This exercise strengthens and tones the hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

  • Keep your legs hip-width apart while keeping the back straight and the chest out.
  • While inhaling, steadily bend your knees to get into the squatting position.
  • When getting into the squatting position ensure your knees are behind your toes.
  • Now, exhale and in a quick smooth motion jump upwards and then land softly.

Tip for Beginners: Before starting jump squats ensure you can properly perform weighted squats. Also, make sure to properly dissipate the landing force by allowing your knees to gradually absorb the impact.

Split Jump

This compound plyometric exercise puts quadriceps, calves, glutes, and hamstring to work. The split jump is perfect for beginners and it’s effective in toning and strengthening all the major leg muscle groups. The movement is best described as jumping and switching legs from a lunge position.

  • Start this exercise by getting into the lunge position. Keep one foot forward and bend the knee to form a 90 degree angle.
  • Drive the other leg backward and keep it rested on the balls of the foot by keeping the heel up. Bend the back foot so that the knee is almost touching the ground.
  • Quickly extend both the legs and jump upwards as high as you can.
  • Bring your legs together while in the air and then move them back to land in the same lunge position.

Tips For Beginners: One of the variations of this exercise is to alternate the legs in mid-air. What this means is if you had your right leg forward before jumping you would try and land with your left leg driven forward. Try both the variations to find out what works best for you.

Ankle Bounce

Strong calves are essential to push your athletic performance to the next level. It not only helps you to jump higher but also keeps you steading when landing. This exercise focuses on building the reactive strength of your calves and thereby improving your overall athletic performance.

  • Keep your legs shoulder-width apart and stand upright.
  • Jump straight up by bending your ankle and using just the calf muscles.
  • Keep your back straight and minimize knee movement.
  • Land on your toes and bounce back up again without letting your heels touch the ground.

Tips For Beginners: For added stability, you can keep your hands extended overhead during the entire span of the exercise.

Curious about how kettle bells can help you stay fit? The benefit of kettle bell workouts is that the full-body dynamic motions are more effective at burning fat and also at sport conditioning, because you are using dynamic movements that you may use during sport.

Also, they can be used to do intense cardio workouts, but without the boredom of riding a treadmill for two hours!

Kettle bell workouts also help improve flexibility, and because you are using the same movements as you would during sport but adding extra weight, you are also conditioning the muscles around your tendons and ligaments, therefore preventing injury.

Of course, you need to learn to use them right. Kettle bell training is somewhat more difficult and dangerous than other types of training.