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What are the Different Types of Plyometric Jumps?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2016
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Plyometric jumps are designed to build explosive power and quickness, so the jumps themselves can be high impact, creating a strenuous workout. One should consult a trainer before attempting such exercises, or at the very least be in strong physical strength at the onset of the workout. The series of plyometric jumps require balance and coordination to be done correctly. Some jumps include squat jumps, diagonal obstacle jumps, single leg hops, and tuck jumps.

The squat jump is a staple of a workout that includes plyometric jumps. Start by doing a normal squat, with the feet positioned about hip-width apart. With the knees bent and the back straight, hold the squat for a moment, then jump straight up as explosively and quickly as possible. Upon landing, bend the knees immediately and go back down into a squatting position. Repeating this motion several times will help build quickness and explosive power in the legs. To start, try ten repetitions of the exercise, then rest.

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The tuck jump is another good plyometric jumps exercise to add to a workout. Begin by standing with the feet hip width apart. Bend the knees slightly and be sure to keep the back straight. Extend the arms out straight in front of the body and drop down into a squatting position, maintaining balance and a straight back. Then explode upward into a jump, maintaining the straight arm position. As the jump progresses, quickly and explosively bring the legs upward so the knees come up toward the chest. The top of the thighs should come in contact with the torso in order to do a proper tuck jump. When descending from the jump, be sure to get the legs down to absorb the landing, ensuring the knees stay slightly bent to avoid injury.

The diagonal obstacle plyometric jumps are a more advanced jump that requires good balance and physical fitness. Begin by setting up a series of benches or cones that reach about mid-shin height. The obstacles should be in line with each other but spaced out evenly. Standing next to the first obstacle with the feet hip-width apart, squat slightly by bending at the knees and keeping the back straight. Then jump diagonally over the obstacle, landing evenly on both feet on the other side. Repeat the motion over the series of obstacles. A variation of this exercise is the one-legged diagonal obstacle jump, in which one should start on one foot on one side of the obstacle, then jump over the obstacle and land on the opposite foot.

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