Plyos Firm Muscles & Rev Your Speed
There are many ways to get a great sweat, but plyometrics have an X factor that a lot of other workouts don’t: Making you supersculpted and very agile. Because plyometrics generally recruit the fast-twitch fibers in your muscles—the same ones you use for sprint speed—and train the nervous system to be more efficient at recruiting those fast-twitch fibers, the exercises are key for tapping greater force from your muscles. In fact, a new study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that female volleyball players who did twice-a-week plyometric workouts (25 to 40 minutes of plyo drills—for example, explosive moves like jumps) significantly improved their sprints, but those who did other conditioning did not. That means your plyo reps are doing double duty, making you firm up and faster too. We’ve got the ideas you need to elevate your squats, lunges, and planks with these plyometric variations, at right, from Jesse Jones, the program director for Basecamp Fitness in Santa Monica and other California locations. Swap them in as high-intensity intervals in your routine, or try the drills and videos on these pages to net all the plyo benefits.