What happens when you mix a Jumping Jack with a Push-Up? You get a Plyometric Push-Up.
Plyometrics is an exercise style that’s all about jumping. The origin of this style of exercise goes back to Eastern Bloc countries during the Cold War. Coaches in those countries started developing new ways to train to compete more effectively in the Olympics, which at the time were an extension of the Cold War. Plyometrics eventually became popular beyond the Iron Curtain, because this kind of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) produced incredible results for athletes. Now it’s popular among fitness enthusiasts everywhere.
New Form for an Old Favorite
The Push-Up is of course an exercise that pretty much everyone has done, at least in middle school gym class.
The traditional version of the exercise involves getting down into a plank position with palms and toes on the ground, body aligned and parallel with the floor. Arms bend, forcing the biceps, triceps, forearms, deltoids, and pectorals to go into burning overtime when they push back up.
What’s great about Push-Ups is that you can vary the difficulty to be whatever you want it to be. Do them on your knees instead of your toes, and it gets much easier. Put your legs up on a chair and you get a deltoid-busting Incline Push-Up. Add an explosion that pushes your upper body off the ground when the arms extend up, and you’ve got a Plyometric Push-Up.
Plyo Push-Ups take this exercise to a whole new level.
Why Plyo Works
Utilizing the Plyometric Push-Up is going to give you some totally different and incredible results compared to traditional Push-Ups.
First off, this exercise is going to improve joint health. Dynamic exercises like Plyometric Push-Ups create positive stress that forces the connective tissue and joints to act. The more you use these parts of the body with the right form, the better they become.
Faster, more powerful movement is another benefit. This is very important for athletes, whether you’re an amateur who wants to improve your backyard basketball game or a pro. Strong, fast movement helps everyone out.
More force behind muscle contractions comes with doing Plyo Push-Ups, too. Because this exercise requires an explosion of force, it’s building that capacity. Pushing up off the ground quickly then reinforces that muscle growth and power in the shoulders, arms, and chest.
How to Improve Your Plyo Push-Up
Doing an exercise is one thing, but doing it well is the most important thing. Bad form won’t get you the results you’re after, and you’re more likely to get injured along the way if you do something incorrectly.
You can improve your Plyometric Push-Up by varying the placement of either the hands or the feet. Putting the hands on a bench for an incline down to the feet changes the muscles worked slightly. Using exercise bands is another great option, with the bands around the chest to increase the resistance. Reactive components are an unusual addition to the Plyometric Push-Up, with a coach using visual and auditory cues to direct the motion of the Push-Up and engage the mind as well as the body.
All kinds of Plyometric Push-Ups offer helpful variations that support bigger muscle growth and development of whole body fitness. Challenge yourself!