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Plyometric Movements For a Great Cardio Workout

5 Jumping Moves Every Noncardio Fan Can Get Behind

dynamic plyometric exercises

I get it. Cardio isn't for everyone. I've heard it just about every time I tell someone I run marathons: "Oh, cardio just isn't my thing." And although I'll never force anyone to go on a run, I will encourage everyone to embrace cardio from time to time.

Although donning the latest running gear like the UA Play Up 3.0 Upstream Camo Shorts ($25) and hitting the road for an 18-miler may sound ideal to me, I often remind my friends who say cardio isn't their speed that maybe swimming, biking, dancing, or hiking will do the trick for them instead. And for those who still hold out on me and prefer lifting weights and gym workouts, I remind them that many HIIT workouts utilize dynamic movements that, you guessed it, are rooted in cardio.

"Jumping moves — also known as plyometric training — torch calories because of the explosive movements that incorporate multiple muscle groups at once," said Joel Okaah, field support specialist and CSCS at D1 Training.

Although Okaah said it's recommended to incorporate some form of cardio into your routine two to three times a week, he told me a plyometric-based HIIT workout can actually replace traditional cardio as it still gets the heart rate up. Plus, Okaah said you can also manipulate the sets and reps of the workout based on the difficulty you are looking for.

Still need convincing? Okaah created a five-move, dynamic workout that's far from the treadmill but will still get the heart pounding.

In/Out Squat Jumps

  • Stand with your feet a little less than shoulder width apart with your arms down by your sides.
  • As you explode upward, clear your hips at the top and land with legs wider than shoulder width.
  • Squat down and hop upward, landing with your legs in first position.
  • Repeat the movement 10 times.

Shuffle + Hop

  • Drop your body to squat level.
  • Shuffle to the right, bring your feet together, and hop up.
  • Drop your body to squat level again.
  • Shuffle to the left, bring your feet together, and hop up.
  • Repeat the movement 10 times.

Burpees

  • Start in a push-up position on the floor, pop up onto your feet, and jump up as high as you can.
  • Return to the top of a push-up position.
  • Repeat the movement 10 times.

Split Squat Jumps

  • Start in a lunge position with your front knee close to 90 degrees.
  • As you explode up, clear your hips, driving your back knee up.
  • Return to original lunge position.
  • Repeat the movement eight times on each side.

Lateral Line Hops

  • Draw a line with chalk outside, use a sidewalk gap, or use your imagination.
  • Start with your feet parallel to the line.
  • Hop back and forth over the line.
  • To up the intensity, bring your knees higher when you hop.
  • Repeat the movement 20 times.

Take a 15-second rest after each set, then repeat the entire set five times for a workout lasting around 15 minutes.

Image Source: Under Armour
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