Jumpstart Your Plyometric Training


Jumpstart Your Plyometric Training

If you’re after extra power in the gym, and want to give your sports performance a lift, Third Space Elite Trainer Lloyd Anthony has the answer.

Jumps are a simple playground staple of your childhood. Given how complicated some exercises that you see on Instagram seem, you’d be forgiven for thinking that old-school jumps have little to offer in the gym. But you’d be wrong.

Mastering a range of jumps will provide the launchpad you need to progress into true plyometrics – exercises that form the backbone of many professional athletes’ training regimens. Get these basics right and you can build the lower body explosive power that’ll help you to run faster, lift heavier and, well, jump higher. You just need to start simple. Remember, this is about building power. You don’t want to be doing endless reps – you’re not trying to boost endurance. You want to do a few reps at maximum intensity to really benefit. Take plenty of rest and when you jump – explode!

Try these four progressions and begin lifting your legs day to the next level.


The Drop Squat

Set up: Start simple.  Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hands up in front of you.

How to: Imagine the ground is being pulled down from underneath you. Let your hips sink towards the floor and feet jump slightly wider. Then catch yourself at the bottom of them squat with knees at 90 degrees and pull your hands quickly down to your sides. Keep a neutral spine. Push back up to the top and repeat.

Why? This is about mastering the landing mechanics. You need to focus on feeling solid at the bottom of the squat.

Sets/Reps/Rest: 2-3/4-6/60 seconds


Non-Countermovement Box Jump

Set up: Feet shoulder-width apart in the pre-loaded position, which is similar to the landing position of the drop squat.

How to: Hold this low loading position for a 2/3 second count to dissipate any elastic energy from the squat, then explode vertically onto the box landing softly. Landing position should look similar to the loading position. Inhale as you load down, exhale as you explode up. By using the box, it decreases the effects of gravity and lowers the eccentric forces making it easier to accept the landing. Selecting the correct box height is critical to the execution and safety of the exercise. (20-40cm Box)

Why? This introduces your muscles to pure force development. With no help from momentum you’re forced to lift your body into the air. It’s the start of strength-building with jumps, before before introducing more complex variations.

Sets/Reps/Rest: 2-3/3-5/90 seconds


Countermovement Vertical Jump

Set up: Feet shoulder-width apart, hands up by chest.

How to: Rapidly load down, trying to spend the least amount of time at the bottom before rapidly driving up to the sky. On the way down re-accelerate your arms back to hit that drop squat position. Inhale as you load down, exhale as you explode up.

Why? This is the real deal now. It’s a simple movement that you can do anywhere, plus it’s a certified exercise for developing explosive strength. It’ll have carry-over benefits to your lifts in the gym, as well as the sports field.

Sets/Reps/Rest: 1-3/1-5/90 seconds – 3 minutes


Countermovement Horizontal Jump

Set up: Set feet so they’re slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

How to: Standing tall, bring arms up, then accelerate towards the ground, driving your hips back and throwing your arms back to help load the hips. Then explode out and up, accelerating your arms out towards your intended landing spot. After maximising hang time, in prep for landing bring legs up and forward, right before impact reaccelerate your arms down and back. Inhale as you load down, exhale as you explode out and up.

Why? More of the same. This will continue to develop explosive strength. Keep the reps low and intense, with plenty of rest. This exercise shouldn’t be used over and over until you’re sweating and tired. It’s short, sharp and powerful!

Sets/Reps/Rest: 1-3/1-5/90 seconds – 3 minutes

Not a member? Get the latest inspiration straight to your inbox

Related articles