April 24, 2023
You now have over twenty new plyometric moves on Fitbod! Even if you haven’t heard of “plyometrics” before, you know what they are: Jumps, skips, and hops. Each time you perform this sort of exercise, you exert as much force as you can in the shortest amount of time possible.
Not every single exercise we added will get you airborne, but each will help you build the stability and ability needed to reap all the benefits of plyometric moves.
Performing them properly will increase your power output. You’ll get stronger and improve your overall athleticism—we don’t just mean on the field of weekend warriors either. Playing tag with the kids, running with the pup, and picking up grocery bags will all get easier if you add plyometrics to your routines.
Plus, it fits this time of year by our California base. Spring’s sprung so we’re hopping to it.
Why You Should Include Plyometrics in Your Workouts
We’ve already mentioned a couple of benefits of plyometric movements, but there are a lot. Safely including jumps, skips, hops, and bounds in your workouts will do more than improve your strength and power.
These kinds of compound exercises will…
- Activate multiple muscle groups (most of the time)
- Boost coordination, stability, and balance
- Help you break through plateaus, if you aren’t already using plyometrics
- Improve triple extension (hips, knees, and ankles) for Olympic lifts
Plus, your intensity level is on you. Just like you can jog a mile or run one for a personal record, you can go faster or slower, add more weight or stick to just your own, and adjust how high you’re willing to go.
The key is safety. These movements are good for your body because they’re dynamic… But that dynamism also means you’ve got to check your form so you don’t get hurt.
Check the tips below and in the FAQs to safely perform these exercises.
How to Get Started With Plyometrics
You probably already know the most basic move in plyometrics: Jumping. So square one is just that: Get a jump rope! Jumping rope is a great entry point into plyometrics. Skips are also easy to get started with, and your chance of injury is low.
When you’re ready to move on, start small. There’s no reason to try hopping boxes like Mario or Luigi. You’ll get there. You just need to get a few things right on the way:
- Focus on your landing—soft landings are safe and sustainable
- Limit your reps until you know your limit
- Jump higher than you need to
- Don’t push yourself to failure
- Look at your landing spot to stick it
How To Do Plyometrics With Fitbod
Some of these moves will start popping up in your routines and others will show up in your warmups.
Our new jump rope variations, however, are a bit different: You will need to enable each in the “Cardio Recommendations” of your Gym Profile in order to have them show up in your workouts.
If you love plyometrics and want to add them to your workouts right away, you’ve got two options:
- Access them from the “Recently Added to Fitbod” category as you’re building or editing your routine.
- Pick one of the three exercise routines our pro trainers made for you—they’re at the end of this article.
Sample New Plyometric Exercises for April ‘23
There are five different skips in the app, and they all provide different benefits, especially for runners, so give them all a try. A-skips are great for your warmups and they’ll help improve footwork, agility, and coordination.
Pro tip: If you’re struggling to get the cadence of this exercise, give yourself some mental cues. For example, “And-Right-And-Left” with the “And” being when both feet are on the ground.
2. Box Drops
What goes up must come down. This exercise helps you train for the landing part of jumping, which is when most mistakes and injuries occur. When you feel confident with this move, you’ll probably be ready to progress on to the seven other box jump variations included in this drop.
Pro tip: Focus on landing quietly. A soft landing means that your muscles are absorbing the force of your landing rather than pounding your bones and joints into the ground.
3. Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Jumps
Bulgarian Split Jumps are a great variation of the Bulgarian Split Squat. They offer many of the same benefits but focus on improving power. The instability added from leaving the ground also helps to improve balance and stability. This exercise is complex so start with the bodyweight version (also available in this exercise drop) before adding weight.
Pro tip: If you want to make this exercise easier, focus on jumping quickly after making contact with the ground. This will help you take advantage of the elasticity of your muscles through plyometrics.
4. Forward Line Hops
This is a great multipurpose exercise that trains quickness, balance, and footwork. This exercise also offers cardiovascular benefits with enough duration and intensity.
Pro tip: If you’re struggling to increase your tempo, focus on keeping your center of mass above the line, and only tap your foot on either side rather than landing.
5. Jump Rope High Knees
This is a great exercise for adding a bit of complexity and intensity to your jump rope routine. It’s also one of six jump rope variations included in this drop. So, if this one’s not for you, jump to another one.
Pro tip: If you’re struggling with your timing, start with your knee up. This way you aren’t jumping and raising your knee, just alternating which foot is on the ground as the rope passes under you.
Ready to Give ‘Em a Try?
Sample these new moves with a mini-workout designed to be tacked onto the start or end of your regular workout, or for a quick standalone session.
Q: What precautions should I take before adding more jumping exercises into my workout?
A: Start with plyometric exercises that seem (almost too) easy and work your way into harder and more complex moves as you gain confidence. If you are experiencing any of the following, you should take extra caution with jumping and plyometric movements, and may want to modify or avoid these moves altogether:
- Poor balance: Jumping onto a box gives you a lot further to fall, so make sure you’re steady.
- Pain when jumping: Jumper’s knee (AKA patellar tendonitis) may be what you’re feeling, but any pain from jumping in general is reason to avoid it until that pain is addressed.
- Fatigue: If you’re fatigued, stop or get yourself a smaller box. You should always be able to jump higher than your box. Being wobbly isn’t as dangerous with things like skips and jump rope since there’s no elevated surface, but you should still be cautious as you get fatigued.
Q: How do I get the jump rope exercises recommended?
A: Fitbod treats jump rope exercises as cardio, so to do them, you need to go to your Gym Profile > Cardio Recommendations > select the jump rope variation(s) you want to be recommended. Otherwise, add the exercise manually to your workout. (You won’t see “jump rope” as a piece of equipment to be added.)
Below are the jump rope variations included in this drop:
- Jump Rope Straddle Jumps
- Jump Rope Mommy Jumps
- Jump Rope Reverse
- Jump Rope High Knees
- Jump Rope Lateral Hops
- Jump Rope Crossover
Q: How can I get Fitbod to recommend hops and skips?
A: The following exercises are meant to be performed as part of a warmup, so these will only be recommended if you turn ON Dynamic Stretches. Go to Gym Profile > Warmup & Cooldown > toggle Dynamic stretches ON > select Warmup (Before Workout). You can also add these exercises manually to your workout:
- Lateral Line Hops
- Forward Line Hops
- Lateral 1-Foot Line Hops
- Forward 1-Foot Line Hops
Q: How can I add these exercises to my workout?
A: Tap the “+” above your workout (next to the number of exercises in your workout), hit the “Categories” tab, and scroll to “Recently Added to Fitbod”. Or, if you’re on your phone, just tap here.
Q: Can I just wait for the Fitbod algorithm to recommend these new exercises?
A: Yes, you can. But, with a library of 1000+ exercises, it may take a bit for these new exercises to show up in your workouts on their own. If you know you want to do (or not do) any of them, tell Fitbod: Tap the 3 dots next to any exercise to choose “Recommend More,” “Recommend Less,” or “Exclude”.
Q: Will the weights and reps for these new exercises match my ability?
A: They might not on your first go. Since these exercises are new to Fitbod, they aren’t perfectly calibrated to your fitness level yet. If the weights and reps don’t match your ability, adjust them! You’ll get better recommendations moving forward, and you’ll help Fitbod “train” these new exercises to level-set themselves for all of our users.
(Note: We’re always improving our workout recommendation algorithm. Over time, we intend to get these starting values to match your ability from lift one.)
Q: How do you decide which exercises to add each month?
A: We weigh a few factors. The first (and most important) is requests from users. Fitbod is built for you, after all. Want to request an exercise? Drop us a line here. The second most important factor is whether an exercise contributes to a well-rounded fitness program. For example, we know that a lot of Fitbodders run and play sports. So, our trainers suggested exercises like some of the ones in this drop that help make Fitbod a better overall experience to support running and overall athletic performance.
Q: Why am I not seeing these exercises in the app when I search for them?
Double-check to make sure that you’re on the latest version of the app: Go to the App Store or Google Play and install the most recent update. Then be sure to follow the instructions above!