By Jessica Smith for Shape.com
The easiest way to fast track your results? Put a little spring into your step! Studies show that adding plyometric exercises to your workout routine can help build bone density and prevent injuries, as well as improve power, strength and agility -- the three elements that separate good athletes from the ones that win Gold.
Plyometrics (also referred to as "jump training") refers to movements that stretch a muscle before contracting it, like when you land in a squat jump and then quickly jump back up again. This total-body plyometric workout was designed by certified personal trainer Jessica Smith to blast hundreds of calories while improving your agility, stamina, and speed -- so you can rule the tennis, volleyball or basketball court this summer.
How It Works
After completing the warm-up, perform 2 sets of 8 reps for each exercise, resting 45-60 seconds between each set. Once you've rested after the second set, move on to the next exercise in the routine.
A word of caution: Plyometric training isn't for everyone and should only be attempted if you are fully rested, injury free and have mastered your alignment on basic movements like the squat. Be sure to pay extra attention to your form during all of these exercises, and stop immediately if something hurts. Allow your body one to two days of rest in between training sessions, and progress gradually into the more advanced versions of the moves.
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