Jump training, or plyometrics, can tone your entire body with a minimal amount of gear. To jump, all of your muscles must work together to push your feet off the ground while maintaining enough balance to land. In addition, this type of body training focuses on the importance of explosive movements to extend and contract muscle groups in an organized fashion. To get started, you’ll just need to pick up a set of specially designed boxes, hurdles and a rebounder. Although you could just use found items to complete the same actions, the following gear was designed for maximum performance and safety.
You can find sets of plyo boxes made from metal, reinforced plastic or wood. The boxes come as a set of three to six or in singles. If you’re working your way up from the beginning, you’ll want to get the set to minimize costs in the long run. If your body is already toned, you can consider picking up targeted box sizes that will help you reach your goals.
The boxes typically start at eight inches and reach over thirty inches in height. A plyo box has integrated weights or a specially designed base to keep it from tipping over if you land on or push off from the edge.
Plyometric enthusiasts use a set of hurdles to quickly push their body to the limits while covering lots of ground. The forward movements help you activate your core muscles to maintain balance. The hurdles may feature customizable heights that you can change as your body grows stronger. You can often find sets of hurdles in packs of four or eight.
Start at the lowest setting to allow your muscles to get used to the charged motions. As you gradually raise the hurdle bars, experiment with staggered heights to keep your mind and body fighting to stay synchronized. Add ankle weights or hold dumbbells while working your way through the hurdle course to increase the difficulty of your workout.
The plyo-focused rebounder differs from a normal personal sized trampoline in two important ways: a handle and tilt functions. The handle allows you to push off with amazing amounts of force without worrying about your safety. You can also tilt the rebounder to use it with your wall or slam balls for an upper body workout.
Look for a rebounder made with high quality materials held together by strong welds. Make sure the center material feels durable and tight on the springs. Push the springs to feel for the perfect amount of resistance. Finally, try to find a rebounder with a generous warranty spanning at least two years.
Starting Your Routine
You can alternate workouts throughout the week or use all of your gear on the same days. If you bundle up your workouts, consider skipping a day in between each exercise session to give your muscles time to recover. Doing so will help you build strength faster and with less chance of injury.