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Plyometrics- it’s the way forward!

Plyometrics- it’s the way forward!

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Plyometric exercise can be defined as “jump training” which basically implies the use of dynamic movements and mainly your own body weight. The basic concept is that when you land your muscles stretch and power up again to explode into the next movement. 
This combination of stretching and contracting sees your muscles getting moulded into shape. The SQD Athletica crew have been playing around with some simple drills here at HQ and have come up with the SQD Seven. Seven key exercises you can do any place, any time. Check it:
 
Exercise 1- Box jumps
Main muscle groups: Hamstrings
Other muscle: Quads, Glutes, Calves

Movement: Squat to assist in generating power through the legs. Swing your arms backward and launch upward, extending the legs and jumping forward towards the bench. Land on the bench with knees bent into a squat position with arms straight ahead. Extend your legs to stand up and hop off the bench. Repeat this process as desired. 
 
Exercise 2- Decline Push Up
Main muscle group: Chest (upper)
Other muscle: Shoulders, Triceps

Movement: Start with feet on the bench and hands flat on the floor ensuring your arms and back are straight. Bend elbows and decline until your nose touches the ground or as far as you are able to. Extend arms back to a straightened position and repeat as many times as desired.
Exercise 3- Front hops
Main muscle group: Quads
Other muscles: hamstrings, abductors, calves

Bend knees and start in a squat position to assist in generating power in the legs. Begin movement with arms behind you to add power into your jump. Swing arms through to launch into your jump with arms extending overhead to create height as you manouvre over the first obstacle. Land with your feet flat and knees bent into the squat position. Repeat this process again for the next obstacle.
Exercise 4- Drop push ups
Main muscle Group: Chest (all round)
Other muscles: Triceps, shoulders

Start with your arms, back and legs straight and hands flat on the boxes. Bend elbows whilst maintaining a straight back and legs. Using your chest and arms, lower yourself to below the height of the boxes to gain maximum extension. Lastly, straighten arms to push yourself back up into starting position. Repeat this movement as desired.
 
Exercise 5- Tuck jump
Main muscle group: Hamstrings
Other muscles: Abductors, calves, glutes

Start with legs straight and arms postiioned paralell to the ground to act as your tuck benchmark. Bend your knees to move into squat position whilst maintaining a straight back and keep your arms paralell to the ground. From this position, launch yourself into a jump ensuring you extend your legs completely. Once in the air, pull your knees to your chest and attempt to touch your knees to the benchmark you have set with your arms. Lastly, straighten your legs to absorb your landing and soften your knees to allow a smooth impact with the ground. You will then find yourself back in the initial squat position. Repeat this movement as many times as desired.
Exercise 6- Lateral bound
Main muscle group: Abductors
Other muscles: Calves, glutes, Quads

Start movement on both legs with arms positioned centrally to help with balance. From this position, squat down, placing your weight on your jumping leg. Extend your jumping leg to leap laterally, using your arms to help generate height. Whilst in the air, brace your landing leg to allow you to absorb landing impact. Land with a flat foot and settle into a squat position as per your initial jump position. Your landing leg now becomes your new jumping leg. Repeat this movement laterally as many times as desired.
 
Exercise 7- Acceleration Drill
Main muscle group: Hamstrings
Other muscles: Calves, glutes, Quads

Start with your hands on a ledge and your body in a push up position ensuring your back and legs are straight and you are leaning on a 45 degree angle. Transition your weight onto the ledge and lift your right leg to your chest, accelerating into the movement. Once you reach your chest quickly lower your leg back to starting position. Repeat this with your left leg and then again with your right to create a running movement. Think of it as running on the spot, on an angle. The more you get into the movement, the faster you can go.  
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