What are plyometric exercises and their benefits?

What are plyometric exercises and their benefits?

You may have heard the term plyometrics (or “plyo” for short), either from fitness influencers or in passing at the gym. But what exactly are plyometric exercises and what do they do?

The truth is, if you’ve done any type of regular exercise over the years, it’s very likely that you’ve already been doing plyometrics, perhaps without even realizing it. 


Here, we’re explaining what plyometric exercises actually are, how they’re beneficial to your fitness, and a few plyometric exercises you can try ASAP. So, let’s get started.

What are plyometric exercises?

Technically speaking, the definition of plyometric exercise is a quick, powerful movement that involves reactive exercises and eccentric contraction followed immediately by an explosive concentric contraction. 

In simpler terms, plyometric exercises are essentially jumping exercises or any type of exercise that includes a jump-like movement such as clapping pushups (which is essentially like jumping with your hands).

Benefits of Plyometric Exercises

So, what are the benefits of these jump-like exercises?

What are plyometric exercises and their benefits?

Minimal Equipment Required

One of the main perks of plyometric exercise is the fact that most require minimal equipment or, in most cases, no equipment at all. Since you’re mostly using your body weight and jumping, it’s a wonderful way to exercise anytime, anywhere.

Improves Agility, Stability, and Balance

The explosive movements and jumping involved in plyometric exercise help improve agility (like switching directions quickly), stability, and balance. This is why plyometrics are often used to improve sports performance. 

Improves Cardio Fitness and Strength

Since plyometrics incorporate both jumping and compound movements, you’re getting both a cardio workout and a strength workout all in one. That means you’re not only getting more stamina and cardio fitness but you’re also toning and shaping your muscles. 

But, there are some drawbacks to plyometric exercises. 

Downsides of Plyometric Exercises

While all of these benefits of plyometrics are amazing, there is a risk of doing too much too soon. Especially if you’re starting out as a beginner or you’re prone to joint issues, plyometric exercise may take some time to work up to.

All that jumping can be hard on your joints. So, if you’re carrying a bit of extra weight or you’re not used to plyometrics, start off slow with modified exercises to build your strength and joint mobility first.

From there, plyometrics can actually help to prevent injuries because they help support strong joints and muscles. But always make sure that no matter what, you’re warming up and cooling down to protect your joints and you’re starting slow as a beginner.

5 Plyometric Exercises to Try

Ready to check out some classic plyometric exercises? Here are some of our favorites.

What are plyometric exercises and their benefits?

Squat Jumps

  1. Start standing with your feet just wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees keeping your weight in your heels and drop down into a squat as if you were going to sit in a chair.
  3. Press into your heels and jump up with an explosive movement, lifting your arms overhead.
  4. Return to a squat position as you land.
  5. Repeat.


  1. Start standing with your feet just wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Bending your knees into a squat position, place your hands on the floor.
  3. Jump your feet straight back to come into a plank position.
  4. Lower your chest into a pushup and then back to a flat, plank position.
  5. Jump your feet back into a squat position before jumping all the way up, lifting your arms overhead.
  6. Repeat.

Box Jumps

  1. Set up an exercise box or something sturdy that’s 12 to 36 inches high in front of you.
  2. Stand with your feet just wider than hip-width apart.
  3. Jump from both feet onto the box or surface to land with both feet, moving your arms naturally.
  4. Step down from the box gently, landing on soft knees.
  5. Repeat.

Tuck Jumps

  1. Start standing with your feet just wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and jump as high as you can, tucking your knees into your chest.
  3. Land on soft knees.
  4. Repeat.


  1. Start in a squat position with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Transfer your weight to your right leg.
  3. Jump laterally to the left, jumping as far to the side as you can, landing with a soft knee on your left leg.
  4. Do the same to the other side, creating a “skating” motion similar to the movements of high-speed ice skaters.
  5. Repeat.

Give these plyometric exercises a try today!

What are plyometric exercises and their benefits?

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