Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Let's get started with Plyometrics

Before I focused my career on business, I had many thoughts about becoming a personal trainer, a dietitian or pursuing a field that dealt with being in shape. Now it’s more of a hobby, but exercising has become part of my lifestyle. I have done trials, but never joined a gym. Everything I do, I do it at home, and I can say I have spent less than $50 on exercising equipment.

- Are you willing to spend $40+ on gym membership costs?

- Are you willing to drive every day after a long day of work, for a 30 minute workout?
If you’re like me the answers to those questions are no. I’m by no means an expert, but hopefully through this blog, you can learn and experiment different and simple ways of exercising at home, on a budget.

To start it off, I wanted to share a type of exercise training which I find very useful. (I will use Wikipedia’s help in trying to define the term). Plyometrics or “Plyos”for short, uses fast-acting movement that helps the body improve overall speed by developing muscular power. A plyometrics trainer describes it as an event that “involves powerful muscular contractions in response to a rapid stretching of the involved musculature. These powerful contractions are not a pure muscular event; they have an extremely high degree of central nervous system involvement. It is a combination of an involuntary reflex (i.e. a neural event), which is then followed by a fast muscular contraction (i.e. voluntary muscular event)."
It sounds difficult right? You’ll be surprised how easy plyometrics actually is, and the best part is that you don’t really need equipment to do it. We have all seen it, and surprisingly we have all done it.  Here are a couple of exercise examples.



Lower body plyometrics:

long jumps, jumping jacks, leg hoping, squat-jumps, bounds, hops.

Spend 30 minutes alternating between these exercises and let me know how your legs feel afterwards!


            Upper body plyometrics:

           "Alternative Box Push-off with shoulder press"
          Targets the upper and lower body

        The dumbbells can vary in weight 5-25lbs depending
        on your strength. The more weight of course, the more
        strength your muscles gain. Walmart sells a 10 lb dumbbell
        at a starting price of $9.47 each.


                 Targets upper and lower body, core

             This one in particular will make you
              sweat and your thighs burn!



                      "Alternating split squat jumps with dumbbells"
                      Targets upper and lower body

Here are a few to get you started! Share your experiences and let me know how each exercise works out!

Pictures and exercises taken from




  1. Wow, these are great tips. I used to do Plyos as part of track practice, but it has been YEARS. I had never tried the tuck and squat jumps so I gave them a shot. I was out of breath faster than I would like to admit! I would like to keep these up and see how they work for me. Do you have any suggestions on length of time for each of these?

    1. Christine, the way I do it is by reps instead of time. Let's say I'm going to do 3 different exercises, burpees, squat jumps and hops. I would do 10 burpees, then 10 squat jumps and then 10 hops. That would be one set. In my next round I increase the rep amount, instead of 10, I take it up to 12..and so on. The amount of sets and exercises will depend on how much you want to work out.

  2. I MUST try these. I once bought into the gym membership thing & got stuck with a $40 payment for 2 years (even AFTER I moved out of the state and the closest affiliated gym was 40 mins away)!!! Now, my workouts consist of running (ok, jogging), sit-ups and occasional machine workouts at our apartment gym. Total cost...$0. Plyos seem like the perfect addition to my repertoire!

  3. Could also check out Crunch. They have two locations in Sarasota and cost $10 a month. No contract. Full gym equipment PLUS free classes on yoga, zumba, etc.