ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, 20-Minute Plyometric Workout for Power & Explosiveness

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20-Minute Plyometric Workout for Power & Explosiveness

Reading Time: 5 minutes 30 seconds

Date: 2021-08-04


Plyometric training, sometimes called jump training, uses a combination of different types of exercises. Most plyometric movement is high impact and short burst. Power is the main driver. It measures the amount of work done in a period of time. The faster one can perform a movement, the more force they will generate.

This principle applies to all plyometric training, especially anaerobic-type activities. But don’t forget there are forms of more aerobic-type plyometrics. These involve longer duration exercises that can last anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds. Plyometrics that focus on speed of movement for shorter duration build more explosiveness.

Plyometric training can be performed with minimal equipment. Bodyweight is often enough to execute explosive movements. Plyometrics are not only beneficial for athletes, but also the weekend warriors. It helps everyday clients move and feel better, increasing everyday performance as well as athletic performance.

If performed properly, plyometrics are known to strengthen tendons and increase fast-twitch muscle fibers. Muscular elasticity also improves, which leads to better range of motion. As range of motion increases, stiffness decreases. This allows the body and muscles to relax more efficiently. 

This 20-minute plyometric workout can be done with minimal equipment whether you are in the gym, at home, or even outside! Because most plyometrics involve jumping and require just your own bodyweight, you may only need to modify based on equipment height. 

The Warm-up

It is important to warm-up prior to plyometric exercise. A proper warm-up helps prepare the body for strenuous activity while also reducing the threat of injury. It also dilates the blood vessels, which ensures the muscles are getting enough oxygen to perform the workout effectively. This is especially important when training for explosiveness. 

#1 Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Start by warming up on the ground with a single-leg glute bridge. This movement activates the glutes, which provide power during plyometrics. 

Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Lift one leg straight up in the air fully extended. The bottom of the foot should be facing the ceiling. Lift and extend your hips towards the ceiling. Drive through the heel of the foot on the ground. 

Repeat for 15 repetitions on each leg.

#2 Lateral Lunge

Set your feet outside of hip width and hinge at your hips. Shift your weight to one side and bend that same leg. Keep the opposite leg straight as you lunge to that side. Return to the starting position and switch sides. 

Perform 10 repetitions on each side. 

#3 High Knees

Start with feet shoulder or hip-width apart. Begin by lifting one knee to your chest. Perform the same movement with the other leg and repeat for a set distance or time. Alternating the legs while moving at a running pace is an effective warm-up for the hips.

Perform for 25 yards or 30 seconds.

#4 Jumping Jacks

Begin in an upright position with your legs together and arms at your side. Jump your legs out and at the same time stretch your arms above your head. Bring your legs back together and arms down to your side. 

Repeat this movement for 30 seconds.

#5 Jumping Rope

Grip the jump rope with both hands. Begin by swinging the jump rope overhead and jumping over the rope. As the rope travels below the feet, try to minimize the space between your feet and the ground. Perform small jumps and continue to use your arms to propel the jump rope overhead.

Repeat for 45 seconds. 

The Workout

The only equipment needed for this portion is a plyometric box. These can vary in height and some of the most common include 20 inches, 24 inches, and 30 inches. Although, you can also get a plyo box that is shorter too, with options ranging from 6 to 12 to 18 inches.

A plyo box with a shorter jump height is a good choice for younger clients or clients with poor reactive ability. The height you choose can also impact the benefits clients receive from this plyometric exercise. A low box jump helps boost the power or explosiveness in the lower body. A high box jump contributes more to improvements in speed and reactivity.

#1 Box Jump

Standing in front of a box, raise your arms straight above your head. Swing them down to the side of your body. At the same time bend at your knees and hips. Then forcefully propel your arms back up. As the momentum of your arms moves forward, explode back up onto the box. 

Perform 5 sets of 3 reps. Rest for 60 seconds in between each set.

#2 Jump Squat

Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Get into squat position by bending at the knees and hips. Stand back up, extend your hips forward and drive through the ground. Propel yourself into the air and land softly. Move directly into the next squat jump rep. 

Perform 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest for 45 seconds in between each set.

#3 Clap Push-up

Begin in a regular push-up position. Lower your chest down slowly to the ground and explode back up. Push yourself off the ground. As your hands leave the ground, clap and return your hands to catch yourself as lightly as possible. Move right into the next repetition. 

Perform 5 sets of 5 reps. Rest for 45 seconds in between each set. 

#4 Explosive Jump Lunge

In a lunge position, drop the back knee to the ground. From here, explode up jumping off the ground. While in the air switch the front and back leg, land softly, and repeat. 

Perform 5 sets of 5 reps on each leg. Rest for up to 60 seconds in between each set.

The Cool Down

You made it through the workout. Now it’s important you take time to cool down. It is crucial to stretch after a workout because you have optimal blood flow. This makes stretching more effective for recovery. 

#1 Three-Way Leg Stretch

While standing, grab onto the top of one foot behind your body. With your hand pull it as close to your glutes as possible. Hold for 20 seconds and release. Then bring your leg in front of the body. Drive your knee up and pull it towards your chest. Hold for 20 seconds and release. Lastly, grab onto your foot and let your knee drop towards the outside of the body. Pull your foot upwards and hold for 20 seconds. Perform on both sides.

#2 Cross-Body Arm Stretch

Bring one arm across the chest and use the other arm to pull it further across the body. Hold for 20 seconds on each side. Then keep your arms straight out and elevated at shoulder height. Rotate the upper body both right and left and keep your feet planted. Repeat 5 times each way.

#3 Hip Flexor Stretch

Start in a lunge position with the front foot elevated. Lean into the front leg allowing the back leg to stay straight and stretch. Keep the back leg as straight as possible and remain upright. This will ensure you stretch mainly the hips of the back leg. Hold for 30 seconds on each side.

Take It One Step Further

Nice work! You have completed a full 25-minute plyometric workout. These exercises will build power and strength over time. 

Want to learn more about the importance of plyometric training? Check out these blogs:

If you are interested in expanding your training knowledge, be sure to check out ISSA’s Strength and Conditioning Certification. Learn how to help athletes achieve their optimal performance with everything you need to build the best agility, conditioning, and strength training that sports science has to offer!

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