If you want bigger and stronger muscles then most of your training time should be dedicated to lifting weights. But you can reach your size and strength goals faster by also including some weekly plyometric work, which means doing more explosive bodyweight moves such as box jumps or clap press-ups, according to a study published in the Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research.
The research found that subjects who performed plyometric exercises added more muscular size and had greater power output than those who didn’t. And the best bit – aside from not needing any equipment – is that you only need to do it once a week, because those who did just one plyometric session a week saw greater benefits than those who did four.
“Adding plyometric exercises to your routine will not only increase your athletic capabilities, it will also improve muscle mass by recruiting your fast-twitch fibres,” says trainer Alex Gildea. “Start by keeping the rep count low to perfect your technique and avoid injury.”
Do one of the following three plyometric moves before a legs session or combine all three for an quick and intense cardio workout.
Squat down and load tension in your legs and glutes, then jump up powerfully, swinging your arms for momentum. Push your hips forwards at the top and exhale. Don’t roll your knees inwards when you land. Do 5-10 reps for 3-5 sets, resting 60sec between them.
Start in a split stance and load tension on your front leg with your core engaged. Jump up powerfully and switch legs in mid-air to land with your other leg in front. Don’t let your knees go ahead of your toes. Do 5-10 reps per leg for 3-5 sets, resting 60sec between them.
Squat down, jump your feet back and do a press-up. From there bring your knees towards your chest, then jump up powerfully. Land softly by bending your knees and go straight into the next rep. Do as many reps as you can for between 30sec and 60sec.
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