As a student athlete and volleyball player for 8 years throughout school, I was always active and in shape, but never had to create my own workouts. So when college rolled around, so did the freshman 15. My first tactic for tackling this problem was to join an intramural volleyball team in college. While I loved volleyball and I got good workouts at practice, it wasn’t competitive enough for me, which meant it was back to figuring it out solo. Now obviously I didn’t workout just like I would at volleyball practice but I did my best to maintain the same plyometric and cardio base.
What are Plyometrics?
Plyometric workouts are basically jump training, this type of workout it similar to HIIT or Tabata. Plyometrics are certain exercises where you exert the max amount of effort in a short amount of time. I personally love to sweat and to feel like I gave it my all and that’s exactly what plyometrics are for.
Volleyball drills were very similar, we would have a drill or an exercise to do exerting max effort and then a short rest period and repeat. Volleyball practice would last a couple hours and by the end of it I probably burned 2000+ calories a day. And honestly, if you wanted to do plyometrics for 2 hours a day you would look amazing and could probably eat whatever you wanted. But plyometric workouts don’t have to be long to see results, another reason why I love them!
Plyos are done usually with just body weight, making them home workout friendly. Many common plyometrics exercises are: jump squats, jump lunges, burpees, box jumps (lots of jumping) etc. So keep in mind if you have issues with high impact workouts this most likely won’t be for you.
Below is an example of a plyometric workout that I use often.
20 reps each move, 3 rounds total
Rest 30 sec – 1min & Repeat
Plyometrics burn a lot of calories quickly because you exert maximum effort when completing each exercise. Therefore with plyometrics, your workouts can be shorter. As much as I love running, I can burn the same amount of calories doing 10-30 minutes of plyometrics as I can running for an hour. And with plyos you can work specific muscle groups, targeting your specific problem areas, similar to traditional weight lifting.
Plyometrics are also great for strengthening both muscles and tendons in the areas that you target, which can help avoid injury. Because a lot of the movements are explosive and quick you also improve your muscles’ ability to contract and produce force more quickly.
You also greatly improve your endurance, similar to conditioning for sports, the more speed and power you have the less likely you are to feel fatigued. And like most other cardio exercises, you are improving your cardiovascular health as well.
You don’t have to start by doing the most difficult plyometric moves either, you can start with a jump rope to get your body used to moving in a vertical direction and go from there. But be sure to always listen to your body, if certain exercises cause you any pain or discomfort modify them. Remember that longevity and practicality are still the goals long term. So give the workout above a try and if it isn’t for you, that’s okay, the beautiful thing is there is a workout out there for everyone!