Most fitness experts and trainers recommend running or weight training for faster calorie burn, especially for people looking for weight loss and building muscles. Building muscles helps rev up metabolism for effective fat loss and faster burning of calories in the body even while you are resting.
But what if you don’t enjoy running or cant lift weights due to medical condition. Is there still a set of exercises that can help you lose weight? For those desperately seeking an exercise subsitute to help them lose weight then we are glad to introduce Plyometrics to you. Plyometrics are extremely effective to improve flexibility and strengthen muscles. Plyometrics work on the basic principal of loading the muscles and then contracting them in rapid sequences. This movement adds strength and elasticity of the muscles and the tissues that surround them in order to develop more strength to perform any activity.
If your muscles have become weak and find it diffiult to do your workouts then plyometrics can take you out from this phase and power you for higher performance and athletic movements. Using muscle mechanism like stretching and contracting in rapid sequence allows the muscle to reach maximum force/power. Stretching the muscles just before contracting allows the muscle to increase its power. The muscle must contract within the shortest time to express this power which is the underlying factor of plyometrics. Stretching the muscle while in tension is known as esscentric contraction and concentric contraction is when the muscle shortens in length and develops tension for movement.
There are different forms of exercise that you can do according to your objective of muscle gain, muscle strengthening, weight loss etc. Many people are also stuck in the myth that a bigger body signifies more strength which is untrue. You could have the explosive strength with a lean body without much muscles in your body. Performing plyometric exercises can boost and produce powerful movements and increase performance.
Plyometrics can immensely improve your performance in sports, in general movements, etc. It can help you gain the strength to reach you target of higher fitness and reduces injuries. It is important to follow the underlying muscle mechanism of contraction for explosive results or stretching the muscle before it contracts so that it contracts with greater force.
Here are some plyometric exercises for power building
Squat Jumps: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at sides. Start by doing a regular squat and then jump up as high as you can when you rise up reaching for the ceiling.When you land, lower your body back into the squat position to complete one repetition.
Staggered Press Up:Position: Rest on floor with hands just over shoulder width apart out in front of you. Have one hand forward and one hand back.Technique: Lower your body down as far as you can so your chest goes over the line of your back hand. Push back up and jump the back hand forward and the forward hand back.
Scissor Kick: Lie on your back. Contract your abs and lift your head and shoulders and your legs off the ground. Hands can be placed under the small of your back for support. Spread legs apart and then bring legs together. This action will alternate with first left leg being on top and then right leg. Spread legs again, then bring them together. The movement should look like a pair of scissors opening and closing.
Shuttle Run:Firstly, place a marker at 10 metres (m), 20m, and 30m. Run fast to the 10m mark first, touching the floor and running back to the start line.Then run to the 20m line and back. Finally run to the 30m line and back.
Side Straddle Hop: Start with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Jump outward and land with both feet wider than shoulder-width apart, while swinging your arms outward and up until your hands meet over your head. Reverse these actions as you jump back to the starting position.
There are many plyometric exercises that you can do. Above are some exercises can you can incorportae in your day to day workout. It can get tiring in the beginning but within a few sessions you would be building power. Gradually you will be able to increase the intensity of the workout adding speed and strength to your routine.Author Information — this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo