When you get more comfortable with your exercises, you can make them more explosive to increase your strength and power. This is especially true with body weight plyometric exercises, which can be done anytime, anywhere.
Each week, we’ll be guiding you through a series of exercises that target a particular area of the body. The good news is, you don’t need a gym membership or lots of fancy equipment to do the exercises we are about to show you. However, it’s a good idea to invest in a skipping rope (usually around HK$150) and two resistance bands – one for warming up and one to aid you with certain strength exercises (also HK$150 each). These are great for starting or ending your workout.
You can practise these exercises either at home, or at a park. Kowloon Tsai Park in Kowloon City, Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, Ma On Shan Park, and Tin Sau Road Park in Yuen Long are all great options.
Make sure that you are in good physical health before you attempt any of these workouts. If you’re unsure, consult a doctor, trainer, or specialist.
Always take five to 10 minutes at the start of your workout to warm up. You should get the blood flowing to all of your muscles so that you don’t suffer any injury later. A quick run or some skipping will do the trick.
Another way to warm up your lower body is to use resistance band exercises, such as mini resistance side shuffles – where you place the resistance band on your leg muscles and move from left to right,
and squats while standing on the
Begin slowly and never strain yourself. Warm-ups should be gentle.
Reps and sets
When it comes to plyometrics, personal trainer Calvin Au Yeung says there should be “triple extension” – where the hips, knees and ankles are fully extended upwards to maintain good form and maximise explosiveness. Beginners should aim for three sets of six to eight repetitions, whereas more advanced athletes should aim for four to six sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.
Here are some great plyometric exercises you can add to your routine:
Squat jumps – start with your feet shoulder width apart. Straight back and deep breathe keeping your core tight. Go down low, squat as you go upwards and explode into a jump.
Box jumps – find a bench or a block about knee height. Start with your feet together and jump onto the box. Step back down onto the ground and repeat.
Power skipping – after you’ve mastered the basic moves with a skipping rope, try skipping with double hoop jumps to really increase the intensity.
Explosive push-ups – same as a normal push-up, but as you go upwards, push your upper body so your hands leave the ground. Catch yourself on the ground and go back into the starting position.
Clap push-ups – a variation of the explosive push-ups in which you clap your hands on the way up.
Explosive pull-ups – pull yourself quickly upwards off the bar, controlling yourself on the way down.
Clap pull-ups – this advanced variation of the explosive pullup requires to pull yourself high enough to clap your hands before grabbing the bar again. Make sure you master the explosive pull-up and are able to touch your fingers before going to a full clap.