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There’s a time to slow things down in the gym, and a time to turn it up. Today, you’re going to jump into action with an exciting routine that will teach your body to move a whole new way!
In this final week of your fitness education, you’re going to step on the throttle. Today is the first in a string of progressively challenging workouts. In your first week you learned how bodyweight workouts build a foundation. Today you will see how you can use your body in unique ways to develop athleticism as well as strength.
Kathleen will tell you more in today’s video.
DAY 23 CHALLENGE
Perform a circuit workout using plyometric training principles.
PLYO FOR POWER
As Kathleen explained, today you’re going to train your body to produce more power. You might think of someone lifting huge weights with that word, but in training circles, power is all about producing maximum force in as short of time as possible. Training this way teaches your nervous system to use many muscles in coordination during a movement, helping your whole body become more efficient and athletic.
The simplest expression of power might be jumping, which is what most people think of when they hear the word “plyometric.” In simple terms, plyometric exercises focus on rapidly contracting a muscle after it has been stretched. This happens in the bottom of a squat, where your hamstrings stretch before pushing the weight upward quickly. But you can also train this quality without added weight or using just a medicine ball, like we will today.
Perform today’s movements explosively, just like when you jump. For example, during a normal push-up, you would move in a slow and controlled fashion to train for bigger muscles, but in a plyometric push-up, you press off of the floor as fast as you can, so your hands actually come off the ground at the top. Follow the exercise instructions and you’ll find that these are a safe and exhilarating way to do a lot of work in a little time.
You will do these movements today back-to-back in what is known as a “circuit.” In a circuit, you perform one set of an exercise, followed by a set of a different exercise, and maybe even another few exercises. You rest as little as possible between exercises, and when you’ve finished all the exercises in the circuit, you rest before performing another round.
Plyometric: An explosive muscular contraction in response to the rapid stretching of a muscle, as in jump training. Plyometric training is used to unite strength and speed, increasing overall athleticism.
Circuit: A group of three or more exercises done in succession with little or no rest between them. Rest may be taken between each round of the circuit.