An Explosive Independence Day Workout

Plyometrics is a method of exercise that provides a great strength and cardio challenge by working the body in short, explosive bursts. By recruiting large muscle groups to work at a high intensity, plyometrics can help make great gains in a short amount of time.

In honor of the Fourth of July, I have a circuit of explosive plyometrics exercises for you to try. You’ll need a step or bench but no other equipment. You’ll do each exercise for a burst of 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds. Each circuit should take 5 minutes; aim for three circuits, or 15 minutes of heart-pounding work.

Lunges: Alternate legs, jumping to switch legs
Squat + Jump: Lower into a squat (maintaining good form), then use your arms to propel yourself and jump; Reset your feet to hip-width apart and repeat
Skipping: Use your arms to propel yourself upward and drive with your bent knee to gain as much height as possible each skip
Tuck Jump: Using your arms for power, jump up and tuck your knees to your chest; Reset your feet to just less than hip-width apart and repeat
Depth Jump: Stand on a step or bench; using your arms for power, jump off of the step and land with slightly bent knees and your feet hip-width apart; immediately rebound up into the air (NOT onto the step); Step back up onto the step to repeat

These exercises are suitable for people who are used to working to a high rate of perceived exertion. I do not recommend this circuit for pregnant women, and nursing moms may find all of the jumping uncomfortable.

Hope you have an Independence Day filled with bursts of energy and excitement.

Great health and happiness to you.

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