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Up Your Training With Plyometrics

By Paul Rothbart

There are many forms of exercise designed to improve various areas of fitness. Weight training is good for strength and muscle mass, and aerobic exercises such as walking or running build endurance and strengthen the cardiovascular system. There are sports that are good for hand-eye coordination. There is a unique type of aerobic exercise known as plyometric. It involves pushing to maximum exertion in a short burst of time. Plyometric exercise is intense and should only be performed by people in good physical condition. It is especially good for athletes. 

Benefits of Plyometric Exercise

One of the nice things about plyometric exercises is that no equipment is necessary. You can perform them pretty much anywhere, which is nice for people who travel frequently. Plyometrics work the entire body and are an excellent cardiovascular workout. Because they alternate contracting the muscles with a rapid extension of them, they are good at strengthening muscles. They also build stamina, improve coordination, and can even help increase speed and quickness. When performed correctly and carefully after a good warmup, plyometrics have been shown to help prevent injury.

Necessary Precautions

Due to their level of intensity, plyometrics are not right for everyone. Those who add them to their routines must take precautions. Beginners or anyone with an injury or chronic condition must be especially careful. Plyometrics are best performed by those with a high level of fitness. This type of exercise places stress on ligaments, tendons, and joints. It is a good idea to consult with a personal trainer or other fitness professional. Always start with the most basic moves and add plyometric exercises slowly over time. Give your body time to adjust and reach a higher level of fitness. It is also recommended that you check in with your fitness professional at least once a month to ensure proper form. Done improperly, plyometrics can cause serious injury.

Some Plyometric Exercises

Plyometric exercises can be for the upper or lower body and there are some that are specific to certain activities such as running. For the upper body, push-ups with a clap and the popular burpee are excellent exercises. Good lower body exercises include squat jumps and reverse lunge knee-ups. Box jumps and stair hops are very good for runners. A trained exercise professional can show you the proper way to perform these exercises.

To achieve a high level of fitness, exercise should challenge the body. Plyometric exercise is intense and can build muscle strength, speed, and endurance. If you are already in good shape and want to reach the next level, you may want to give plyometrics a try. Consult with an exercise professional to get you started right.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Flagstaff, Ariz.

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